Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to Get Really Good at Computers

Computers are amazing. You know what's even more amazing than computers? People who think becoming expert users of them involves either years of professional training, being born with an oversized brain and having no social life, or a series of secret nighttime rituals involving red cloaks, candles of animal fat, caffeinated soda, and a 13-sided die.

Actually one of those is an approved method and it's not "years of professional training".

The point is that computers aren't really the scary, nerd boxes that some people think they are. So to help people overcome their misunderstandings, misgivings, and general ignorance I offer my list of tips and tricks that I've learned over the years on How to Get Really Good at Computers...

And in this hand I!
Tip #1: Realize they're not magic.   Writing a strangers name on a coin, throwing that coin down a sewer, then pulling that same coin out of your eye socket is magic. Computers are not magic. Computers are nothing more than dumb electronic appliances that literally need someone to tell them to go to sleep. They are made up of components emitting a series of electrical signals that can only be generated by you or some other upright-walking bi-pedal humanoid. Actually I take that back because I'm pretty sure mice can operate computers.

Computers is HARD!
Tip #2: Want to Learn. Probably the most important tip of all. I have no idea why I stuck the most important tip as number 2. Anyways, if you don't want to learn how to use a computer you will never get good at it. Those of you who never wanted to learn and think you're good at them should realize that you aren't as good at computers as you think you are. No one gets really good at anything unless you want to learn it. And that's okay. There's no shame in learning just enough about computers to do your job, stalk someone on Facebook, or do your taxes online.

This guy's still stuck on MySpace
Tip #3: Become One With the Internet.    This one's probably going to freak a lot of you out, but don't worry I mainly named it this for effect. I'm not saying quit your job to surf all day, or lock yourself in your room with your laptop until you forget what grass is. What I am saying is that you should become intimately, and I may regret using that word, familiar with the workings of the Internet. You should care to understand what that weird "http://" actually means, or how a web site actually works. Your inner nerd eats that crap for breakfast.

Trust me. Most nerds are not this sexy.
Tip #4: Give Up Being Cool. For most of you this one's a no-brainer since already you're about as cool as the guy on the left. Those of you who actually care about your image or what other people think about you may want to consider becoming something other than Really Good at Computers. Are there "cool" nerds? Sure. Are they Really Good at Computers? Nope. Do they employ other non-cool nerds who are Really Good at Computers? Most likely. It's a cruel reality. Embrace it. Take heart in knowing that once you get tired of being a brainy circus monkey for your cool friends who can't even remember what their email address is, the nerd community is waiting for you in their Utilikilts with open arms.

Hopefully those few nuggets of seasoned, well-aged wisdom will help you to to be less intimidated by computers, interested in learning more about computers, and possibly even mildly attracted to Bill Gates.

Peace out.


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