I hear many things as people ask me questions, but there’s one thing that stands out as most frustrating because it’s so needless.
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This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.
As you might expect, I hear a lot of things as people ask me questions. I
get lots of different scenarios, problems and complaints, as well as excuses
There’s one statement that stands out as the most frustrating. I just shake
my head when I hear it, and it sometimes makes me wonder if there would be any
point in answering whatever question is being asked.
I’m stupid when it comes to
Why does this bother me so much? Because the folks who say it have already
been defeated – by themselves. Their “I can’t” attitude will get in
the way of everything they might try. They’ll stop trying to learn, because
they don’t believe they can. They’ll give up trying to do things, because they
don’t believe that they’re capable.
What a waste. What a terrible waste.
The secret that they won’t accept is simply that it’s likely that it’s
only their attitude that’s stopping them. If that weren’t in the way,
they could learn, and they could do.
Computers can be damned complicated, and yes, they often are very
frustrating, but that’s not your fault.
Sadly, it’s when problems arise I see person after person giving up, and
putting the blame on themselves.
Unfortunately our fast-paced society has set up some really high standards:
if you don’t “get” this stuff instantly, you must be stupid. That couldn’t be
more wrong, particularly when it comes to computers. In fact, there’s a good
chance that the faster you think you’re getting it, the more likely you are to
be getting it wrong.
Stepping back and calmly and patiently taking a little time to understand
what was happening, how things work, and how things interrelate is a worthwhile
investment. Particularly if spending some time understanding some basic
concepts can save you hours of frustration later on. In fact, it’s one of the
reasons I rarely give “just the answer” without a little gentle education as
to why something might be the way it is. That little bit of knowledge might
help you figure out similar situations on your own, and with less frustration,
in the future.
One of the most rewarding comments I get from time to time are from senior
citizens who’ve resolved an issue and have gotten themselves online, perhaps
enabling a new level of communication between the generations.
One of the saddest thoughts are all those out there who think that they’re
“too dumb when it comes to computers” who could have been doing the same if
not for that attitude in the way.
Please, don’t let that be you.
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Till next time, I’m Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.