BY JEREMY MEYER
Many of you probably share my frustration when it comes to technology. My frustration does not land on the “it’s changing too fast” side, but rather on the side that no one takes time to learn it.
How many of you have been unofficially declared as your family’s “tech support guru”? If you are, welcome to my world.
Friends and family alike have come to me for answers to obvious questions. Hell, someone I graduated from high school with called me three years after, with a question about their computer. (I never talked to this person after high school.)
The problem is the family tech support position doesn’t take an application or an interview to get hired. You fix one little problem, and you got the job. When you try to help by downloading Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox so you can save them from them peril that is Internet Explorer, they will blame you when something else goes wrong.
I don’t know that much about computers, but I can generally fix minor issues if I have the time. My secret? Google. That’s it.
The Internet is huge and full of information, yet why isn’t it taken advantage of? I’m willing to bet that you aren’t the first person to have that specific issue on your device. Become a black belt in Google Fu. It’s simple to do and doesn’t take long.
Have you ever thought about Googling the error message your computer spits at you? There will be forums and forums with the same issue. When you read the fix to the problem, and don’t understand a word, Google that word. Keep doing that until you fix the problem. It might take awhile but at least you will fix it on your own and probably learn a thing or two.
With technology everywhere you can figure out anything you want. This does not have to be limited to technology. If you are having a conversation with someone, and they say something that sets off your bullshit detector, look it up on your phone. Present the facts to them, and see where they go from there.
Don’t brush off every request you receive for help. Several people may not know what they are doing. Bring it upon yourself to help them along through the process. Point out areas of greater interest. Show them tips and tricks to make their technology experience better.
I understand it’s hard for people of different generations to make a good footing on the many different aspects of technology. Your parents might not be computer savvy, but don’t let that limit them. Take time to show them what to do. Write down instructions so they can follow through without you being there.
Smart phones, like the Apple iPhone, are extremely easy to use. I know several people over the age of 40 that have one and love it. If your parent, grandparent or adult friend gets a smart phone, check with your local town’s recreational education department to see if they offer a class on smart phones. Also, go to a bookstore and grab one of the many tutorial books.
Technology is going to continue to grow at a quick rate. It’s hard to keep up, but with a little time, catching up shouldn’t be a problem. If you invest a little time, the reward will be greater later on. You will be able to work faster without slowing down because you don’t know how to do a task.
Technology is here. Embrace it.