Despite the millennial generation having the distinction of being tech-savvy, there will always be many young people as well as the older generations who will not be as conversant, adept and proficient in the world of computers, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
Unfortunately, not being able to navigate a web browser, working with Microsoft Office or utilizing social media won’t help career prospects and job duties. Today’s labor market is highly advanced, and it can be very easy to be left behind and fall from the pack if individuals refrain from keeping up with technological trends.
The inability to effectively use a computer can hinder research efforts and networking capabilities. Not knowing the difference between .JPG and .GIF or TB and GB can hinder a person’s future career prospects. It’s imperative that novice computer users understand the methods of researching and networking online.
Not everyone needs to be Bill Gates, but knowing more than turning a computer on can suffice.
Here are five tips to do your research and networking when you’re not a computer expert:
1. Search Engines Are Your Friend
Whenever you’re in need of important information, directions to a restaurant, tips on how to construct the perfect resume or when the next bus out of town arrives, utilizing a search engine is the most important thing to do. Back in the day, many would simply type in "bus.com," "resume.com" or "howtodance.com" and hoped there would be a website in its place. Now, Google, Bing and Yahoo! are the places to get your information.
2. Wikipedia As A Source
If you have an assignment to complete for work and you need to gather as much information as possible, but you lack the necessary online research skills to accomplish this, then venture over to Wikipedia. This online encyclopedia is the premier web source for students, professionals, companies, schools and governments. Although it has suffered setbacks in the past, it is still a superb resource to attain as much information on a subject as possible.
3. Only One Social Media Outlet
Keeping in touch with distant relatives and friends you haven’t seen in years is much easier to do in today’s world thanks to social media. If you wish to make contact with a brother or a former colleague but you’re still new to this whole thing then choose one social network, preferably Facebook, and search for them. Until you get the hang of things, only utilize this one social media account.
Also, refrain from participating in chat rooms (if they even exist anymore) for your social needs.
4. Getting to Know YouTube
Interested in listening to the sounds of Bix Beiderbecke, Johann Sebastian Bach or the Ink Spots as you peruse the Internet? You’ll soon understand that YouTube is the best destination for all of your entertainment needs. In the meantime, forget about DailyMotion or Metacafe for music and videos, just pay attention to YouTube. Furthermore, YouTube can offer tutorials on computer, Internet and software use.
5. Ignore Personal Blogs for Info
When doing research, you’ll need an authoritative, recognized source for your articles, projects and assignments. Although Google and other search engines will showcase the best websites first, sometimes personal blogs can get on the first page, which can be dangerous. With millions of blogs out there, it’s understandable that there can be false information and conspiracy theories available to read. Ignore it and just focus on Wikipedia, CNN, CNBC, USA Today and other well-known publications.
Computers and the Internet are meant to assist you and be your aid and guide as you browse through an array of websites. It’s important to remain calm and to not get frustrated as you type and research. It’s imperative to focus on the basics as opposed to immediately heading into analytics, crypto currency and peer-to-peer outlets.
A word of advice: Microsoft Office, Google, YouTube and Wikipedia will be your primary venues to visit and use.