Using Computers:  Becoming a Personal Computer Whiz

Needless to say, computers have changed our lives in almost every way imaginable and will continue to do so.  Every cohort in history has had to adapt to certain changes.  Even throughout early history, human beings had to adapt to constantly changing weather, or constant wars at times.  Yes, there may have been periods of stability, but not all periods have shown stability. 

Fast forward to Year 2000 A.D. and we now have a new change in this generation, especially for the younger people.  Computers will change the way we operate, the way we think, the way we run our lives.  Before computers, there was TV and radio, and those things changed our lives too.  However, it may be said that computers may have an even more far-reaching impact, as the capabilities of a computer seem almost limitless.

Thus, using computers wisely and knowing how to use computers well will be a required task of all people of the future.  How does one use the computer wisely and what should one use it for?  Computer activity could probably be divided into the two huge categories of (1) internet use and (2) offline use. 


Hone your internet and searching skills.  The internet is a wonderfully useful tool in that it lets you communicate with others in ways unimaginable before and at astoundingly quick paces, such as through video conferencing, emailing, or just surfing the web and getting information there.  Perfecting one's use of the internet is definitely a must for people.  One thing that people use most is search engines, and if you were to improve how you use search engines, that would be very useful.  For example, try different searches, read the help section on advanced searches, search long and hard, and see what you can pull up. 

Often, there are many wonderfully pieces of well-crafted articles on the net for all to read and see.  You just have to spend the time searching, which is why maximizing your searching skills is a definite asset.  A simple way to improve your searches may simply be to do an exact search, either by going to an advanced search form, or in many search engines, if you type your phrase in quotations, that can automatically do an exact search, where the words within the quotation are matched exactly with what you want.  For more information on honing your searching skills, see the article on How to Use Search Engines to Find Information on the Internet.

Familiarize yourself with your operating system and software.  For offline use, it would be an asset to know completely how your operating system works and how to use it to the maximal extent, since many activities would be sped up or be possible if one were to know about it.  Programs you use often are also very useful, but here, probably the best thing to get more out of them is to use them more because the more you use them, the more you will use the help menu or try out new commands and learn from what you had wanted to learn. 

Consider learning how to program.  If you have the time, or if your kids do, try to learn a modern computer programming language.  This is because the personal computer revolution has already begun, and learning to talk with computers may be as important in the 21st century as learning to talk with people was in the previous centuries of history.  Of course, always, always aim to use the knowledge that you gain in ways that will benefit, and not harm, humanity.  

Try one-on-one learning.  With computers, as in many other areas of life, one-on-one learning is probably the most effective.  Here, the tutor, instructor, or your friend, can point out unifying concepts that make it much easier for you to learn additional skills on a particular topic.  For example, if you were new to using software, they might point out that there is actually a help command that you can easily use to find information.  This will undoubtedly speed your learning curve as you will now have access to information that you never even knew about.

With computers, there is so much new material out there that it is almost impossible to stay up to date on everything.  Thus, if you have a buddy system or systems where you can share what you have learned with a buddy and they, in turn, can share what they learned with you, you will quickly speed up your learning.

Apply the use of computers to various situations.  The power and the many functions of computers make them an almost limitless resource.  Remember not to take the computer for granted and to think that it's simply there to send email to your friends, or to type out your report.  Instead, make use of its many capabilities.  For example, instead of telling the news to your coworkers at the next meeting one week from now, perhaps it might be just as effective to send out emails to everyone concerned today so that everyone knows right away. This may sound elementary, but it is actually surprising how, when we are fixed upon some old way of doing things, we forget there is a new device out there called the internet or called whatever software, that we can actually use to facilitate a task.


Like it or not, computers have infiltrated into our lives.  They do simplify many tasks, of course.  Just don't get carried away and sit in front of your computer 16 hours a day.  Do some of life's other simpler activities that people used to do.  Spend time with people in person.  Go out to the park to take walks.  Experience life to its fullest.  The computer is just another tool to ease the tasks that we do in this world.

In summary, to more effectively use computers and take full advantage of the computer revolution, 

  1. Hone your internet and searching skills..

  2. Familiarize yourself with the operating system and software.

  3. Consider learning how to program.

  4. Try one-on-one learning.

  5. Apply the use of computers to various situations.

  6.  

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