When you are known as the “computer geek” to friends and family, you give an implied impression that you are there to solve every and any technology question or mishap. As we all know, if you know anything about computers, you must know everything about about technology. To some this may be a burden; while other may enjoy the challenge. Personally, I enjoy helping others.
I am faced with various computer problems throughout the day: from trivial, user related questions, all the way up to complex server questions. The amount of things that can go wrong with computers is almost infinite; there are too many problems for any one person to be able to resolve without the help of an IT community: the IT community being the Internet. One of the greatest resources, as you already know, is the Internet. Where am I going with this? I am saying that every user has the ability to diagnose and fix their own computer problems.
As much as I love to lend a helping hand, sometimes it’s hard to help others who don’t help themselves. Now in a work environment, I wouldn’t expect someone to try to fix their own computer problems unless they worked in the IT Department; but when dealing with home computers, I believe that the first step in solving a problem shouldn’t be calling someone. Instead take 10 to 15 minutes to research your problem. If you are getting an error message Google the error message verbatim, if there is an odd behavior try searching for that behavior. When searching for computer problems online, also be sure to add your operating system to the search to help get more specific results.
Remember that most computer problems can be fixed through a little bit of research, and at the same time you will have learned that much more. In the event that you are unable to diagnose and solve your computer problems within those first 15 minutes, then go ask your go to computer geek.