When to Update a Tech Gift Before Giving It
It’s a classic holiday scene: you pull out a new game console with all the games on your wish list. After weeks of waiting, it’s time to sit down with cocoa in hand, start the car and… wait for all the updates to download. Maneuvering through setup screens and software updates is the worst part of opening any new tech gift, which is why some givers take care of menus and updates ahead of time. But is it a good idea?
When someone opens a gift, they want to be able to use it right away, especially if the gift is very funny, like a game console or phone, and the recipient is an impatient child (regardless of age or temperament). If you roll out a Nintendo Switch this year, you’ll want to jump into Mario Kart or Zelda and start playing ASAP. You may even remember when this was the norm – from the NES to the GameCube, if everything was connected properly, all you had to do was launch the game, hit the power button, and get ready to have some fun. Aldeady no.
Previously, tech gifts were easy to set up
The march of progress means that tech gifts each year offer more options and opportunities. But these extra features usually mean that it takes more time to set up your system or gadget, which involves connecting it to the Internet, micromanaging your settings, logging into accounts, and, most time consuming, installing software updates and patches.
This is especially bad for gaming systems. You turn on this switch, configure everything , then install any OS updates required to start the system. But even when you think you’re done and go to play the game, you also need to update the game . And since everyone and their moms are trying to update their brand new switches at the same time, you risk overloading the servers, meaning you have to wait for them to cool down. The whole process creates many obstacles in the way of the recipient actually enjoying the gift – obstacles that could have been avoided if everything had been prepared in advance.
So the question is: should you open up your gifted’s device and set it up for him, or let him handle the updates himself? This is a hotly debated topic on Reddit. On the one hand, you save them a lot of trouble during the day. They still get the technology they asked for and will be able to use it right away without having to look through a sea of setup pages and loading screens.
On the other hand, some people prefer to customize their devices themselves. I know I fall into this category: when I get a new device, be it a game console or a phone, I like to go through the tedious process of tweaking the settings to my liking. I find software installation and updates satisfactory (although I certainly don’t like waiting for them to download).
If you want to upgrade first, here’s how to do it
So, you’ve decided to update your present. You may know that your recipient will want to jump right into the fun and hate the tedium of the initial setup. Maybe you’re doing this for a child who doesn’t care if the box is open. In any case, my advice is to try and limit the customization during installation. Save the personalization for the owner of the device so they can sort it out as they’ll want to pick things like their profile picture, system theme, etc. Take every opportunity to skip certain customization options. Remember: Your goal is to update the software of both the device and any accompanying program (namely games), and not get everything the way you think they will like it.
Another important step is to preserve the packaging as much as possible. Even if the gifted person doesn’t mind you setting up a device for them, no one wants to open the gift if it looks like someone else got to it first. Unpack only the items needed for the initial setup and keep track of how everything was packed so you can put everything back the way it was (as far as possible).
So, how do you feel about the etiquette of giving technical gifts? Do you install updates and software ahead of time, or do you prefer to have them open the gift as is, no matter how long installation might take? Defend your position in the comments.