BY TOM SLAUGHTER – OWNER OF EARTH OASIS COMPUTERS
The most common thing we hear in my business? It is “I’m really dumb (or bad or inexperienced) when it comes to computers.” So the first question I’m going to answer is – are you in fact really that dumb when it comes to computers?
My confident answer is “maybe inexperienced, but not bad or dumb.”
Why? If you moved to Italy and spoke no Italian, could you learn the language? Of course you could! However, much of it would depend on how immersed you became. If you lived with Italians, who spoke only Italian, my guess is that you would learn the language pretty quick. Would it be a week before you were fluent? Of course not!
Learning and using computers is just like learning and using another language. As a matter of fact, I would say it is another language, a visual one. After a week, would you be able to speak Italian? Well, maybe a little, but unless you were a language savant, probably not much. How long would it take? Obviously, it would depend on a lot of factors, like how hard you worked at it and how much of each day you spent trying to speak it.
Using a computer is exactly the same. Computers are way more complex than your TV or microwave oven. So give yourself a break. Don’t think you can just dive into a new operating system (Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X are operating systems) and are going to understand it well in a day. We tech people spend most of everyday using and learning about computers, so don’t compare yourselves to us. And don’t compare yourself to a teenager who spends every waking moment with their attention focused on their computer or smart phone (which is just a small computer.)
It’s going to take some practice. One of my strong suggestions is to learn how to use the built in help system. Both Microsoft and Apple have put considerable time and effort into improving the built in help systems over the years. Of course even learning to use the help system will take some practice.
The best advice and I can give you is to be patient with yourself and keep learning.
December 20th, 2014