It's a resolution I make every year - try not to be annoyed by BT press releases. So it's January 6, and another resolution is about to be ditched...
According to a recent survey by BT Home IT Support, the UK population is so technically unsavvy that the average home now has 10 ‘misused' gadgets lying around its environs.
"Up to 190 million dormant gadgets are cluttering up the nations homes, due to over half of Brits not knowing how to use their home technology correctly," squeals the release. You see, the UK deserves everything it gets because we're all - aha - technophobes.
There is a serious issue here, but it's not the one BT wants to use to push its £8.99 a month IT help service. Put simply, it's that most of these poorly-used gadgets are just crap. A remarkable number of home and business electronics products suffer from poor usability, no diagnostics or support to speak of, and break down more than many manufacturers would like us to believe.
I can barely think of a single product I've bought in the last decade that has worked as claimed, that would have been easy for a non IT mortal to set up, or that didn't break down before it should have.
Ever had support calls from people who just bought a Wi-Fi router and have never heard of WPA encryption? Or want to know how to get video and music streaming working with Microsoft's Media Player? Or who can't understand why the batteries in their DAB radio give out after half an hour? Or just want their laptop to stop asking them about some such update? Or who can't understand why their expensive digital TV recorder box keeps hanging?
Is the opaque nature of some of these quite simple applications really down to people being technophobic or are the inventors that made them just peoplephobes?
"Our research clearly shows people are buying technology and then not learning to use it properly," says a BT manager, unaware perhaps that people have jobs, children, friends, lives. People were not brought into the world to ponder the meaning of the HDMI port.
The solution? Let BT prey on human stupidity for a monthly fee.
So if I sign up, I can at least I'll be able to phone them up for an answer to my latest IT problem. Why does Vista take 5 minutes to boot? Ah, sorry, it's MEANT to be slow. How stupid of me.