How about utilize?
Interested in Language
Recently, I was practicing a English presentation that demonstrated the functions of our company's newly introduced ICT product. When I explained how some functions work, I said " now I am going to show you how to manipulate this system to acheive the....effect." Then, my colleague interrupted me, and told me I shouldn't use "manipulate" in this case. He said "manipulate" is used for big, important or complicated machine such like airplanes. But I thought "manipulate" can be used for all devices especially when I try to imply this device is delicate or sophisticated. Therefore, I am wondering what message English native speakers receive when hearing people say "manipulate a device".
Thank you for your guidance.
It sounds strange to me. What exactly is the device, and what do you actually do with it that you want to describe as manipulation?
"Manipulate a system" suggests to me using it in a way which wasn't intended.
See, the words can be used more than one situation. So he interrupted you, just ask him to give the right example. Manage, mold, use, operates shape can also be used.
On the basic level, if you are operating it with your hands skillfully, then you are "manipulating" it.