So here’s the thing. We all use computers to do things. Whether it’s hardcore hacking, or browsing the internet for aubergine recipes, it’s just a tool that does ‘stuff’. Right?
As such, once you’ve mastered the basics and understand the main conceptual ideas, it’s a pretty easy tool to use. The mouse is relatively intuitive after a quick demonstration, the keyboard remains familiar to those who remember those clicky-clacky things that occasionally went shzipp-BING! You know, the ones you see in old movies. Typist writers I think they were called. On the whole, the mechanics of using a computer are pretty straightforward.
Conceptually you can explain a lot of the workings of a computer using simple, common, metaphors. You have a desktop to work on, you put your files into folders, you have a trash can for rubbish. The basic concepts are pretty straightforward. Moving on you start to understand that certain programs do certain things, and that you need to know which program will help you do something with a certain file.
Have I missed anything?
So, you can turn the computer on, use the mouse, start programs, work with files, operate the keyboard and you are learning more and more everyday. Doesn’t take too long and there are plenty of classes for those who are daunted by the whole idea. You don’t have to be technical to use a computer.
Yet some people seem to think it’s OK to dive straight in and start using a computer without any form of training or instruction. They don’t consult user manuals, or online help, they don’t take the time to understand the basics of what they are using.
Let’s look at something similar.
The first time I ever drove a car I was I started on a busy main road. I started the car, managed to get it into a gear and pulled straight out into oncoming traffic. Not knowing how to STOP the car I had no option but to chug forward and try and figure out what that big round thing in front of me would do. I grabbed it with both hands and twisted it and the car changed course, slamming into a car parked at the side of the road. All around me horns were blaring, angry gestures were being made and some people were suggesting that I should “learn how to drive”.
The next day I booked my first ever driving lesson.
So, to everyone who has bought a computer and has just swerved out onto the wrong side of the road, without their lights on, can you please just pause for a second. Learn what you are doing, take a lesson.
Once you’ve done that, THEN you can come and ask me for help!