Mastering the Computer

Atychiphobia – Fear of Failure

There are two types of people who use computers; those that fear them and those that don’t. The ones that don’t fear them tend to find computers relatively easy to use.
The same applies to most endeavors such as dancing and public speaking.

Computers are not mysterious, dangerous items. Besides pushing one off your desk or pouring a soda in one (which we all want to do!), it is very difficult to permanently damage a computer. The very worst thing that the average user can do is erase the hard drive.

If you happened to accidentally erase your hard drive your computer will do nothing. Disaster? It is if all you corporate data was lost. But that is why we create backups of important data. If you don’t you are taking a dangerous road. Hard drives can, like anything in the universe, break at anytime. Murphy’s Law states it will be the worst possible time.

So now you will back up all your data on a regular basis. Right? (Do it now!) Now you really have nothing to worry about. If erase your hard drive, you simply reinstall your operating system (most likely Windows), and reload all copies of your licensed software. Mind you, this will take many hours to do, but it is not the end of the world.

Consider what occurs by not taking chances with computers. What happens when you do not click on that button because you are unsure or afraid of what to do? You will not learn and you will literally plod through any and all computer tasks for the rest of your life.

Too often when people who are learning to use computers for the first time assume that tasks can be written out step by step. They assume that if they just follow these steps, nothing can go wrong. Nope. Too many things can go wrong. What if you run software that requires a file that was deleted intentionally or by accident? Error! What will your list of steps do for you now? Nothing. What happens if you use another computer and the settings are different, or the icons in different places?

No list of steps will cover every eventuality. And eventualities will happen eventually. What are your options? 1. Find a computer geek to help you. But they are most likely off at some Star Trek convention. 2. Fix it yourself. To do that, you need two things; a little knowledge and confidence, even if there is no basis for confidence.

No one knows everything about computers. Not even computer nerds! We… I mean they won’t admit to it though. What is their secret? Lack of fear. They have made every mistake that can be made in regards to computers. Show me one geek that hasn’t rendered their computer unusable at sometime and I will eat my hat!

In addition to that, a computer nerd, when faced with the unknown will actually look for information. They use Internet search engines, Program help files, books and manuals. If he or she is really desperate, they will grudgingly ask someone more knowledgeable. They will not just sit there looking at the computer with that ‘Deer in the headlights’ look. Again this is the difference between those needlessly frightened by a big block of silicon and those who aren’t.

So now you are a fearless computer user. I suggest that with your newly learned fearless attitude, that you augment it with lessons. You can teach yourself with the thousands of ‘Teach yourself’ books out there. Or you can take a class, or hire a geek.