“I’m not smart enough.”
“I never touch the thing! My wife’s the only one who uses it at our house.”
“I’m afraid I will do something wrong and royally mess it up.”
“I just don’t feel comfortable.”
“I only do things I know how to do – like checking my email and getting on Facebook. I never venture out beyond that.”
I hear these statements almost every day from clients who come into my office.
It saddens me.
Computers are tremendous tools and the Internet is a vast resource, bringing the entire world to our fingertips. Yet, many computer owners suffer by self-imposed limitations that prevent them from enjoying their benefits.
For example, did you know that by using one certain web browser and making one minor setting change, you can search the web using only your voice? Yep, you can!
Granted, computers and the Internet can be time-sucking distractions. But the positives far outweigh the negatives.
If given the opportunity, I know many hesitant computer users – maybe even yourself – would jump at the chance to become a more knowledgeable PC user.
I’m frequently asked, “Scott, do you ever teach any computer classes?” Or do you come to people’s homes to provide training?” Of course, my answer is “Yes” to both questions.
Other organizations in our community, like the Princeton Public Library and Fort Branch Library, offer very useful, small-group computer classes. Local community colleges sometimes offer non-credit computer classes throughout the year, too.
Classroom settings are great, especially because you get hands-on learning with a live instructor to help if you get stuck. It’s also very affordable.
But these courses are typically very general in nature so that they appeal to a wide audience. Often times, you may not learn exactly what it is you wanted to learn.
One-on-one computer training is next best way to learn how to use your computer. Such training is custom-tailored to your specific needs. You can ask specific questions and often times work on your own computer, instead of a computer in a lab.
But one-on-one computer training can be costly. And if you don’t take detailed notes or master the task during the training session, you may not retain much of what you learned; thus, basically wasting your money.
YouTube videos are another resource available on the Internet for learning how to use your computer. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube EVERY MINUTE! This means that almost every topic imaginable can be found on YouTube.
But therein lies a problem. With such a vast library of videos, it’s hard to easily and quickly find a video specifically answering your question.
Once you do find videos related to your topic search, it’s impossible to know if the video contains correct or accurate information. I can shoot a video in my kitchen telling you how to bake a cake and upload it to YouTube. But I wouldn’t suggest following my recipe because your cake won’t be worth eating! But you won’t know that until you try it.
I wouldn’t suggest taking such a risk with your computer – following directions from a random unknown person who happened to post a video on YouTube. It could potentially damage your computer and cause all kinds of problems.
So what should you do if you want to break out of your chains and become a knowledge PC user?
Obviously, computer classes and one-on-one instruction are excellent ways to learn.
But I recently found a great website that combines the power of individual instruction with the methodology of YouTube.
It’s called Get Computer Smart (conveniently found at www.GetComputerSmart.com).
This website offers short, very easy to follow videos showing you step-by-step how to perform specific tasks on your computer. Everything from how to block unwanted Facebook game requests to removing viruses from your computer and more.
Because it’s video-based, you can stop, start, and even repeat videos as many times as you want until you master what you’re wanting to learn. It’s just like having a teacher sitting right next to you showing you how to do something – without the cost.
I’d encourage you to at least check it out. It’s one of the best resources I’ve come across in a long time that’s easy for hesitant computer users to use.
No matter how you do it – stop underestimating yourself and stop being scared of a machine!