10 top tips for computer beginners

Perseverance makes experts of us all

  1. Be patient with yourself – everyone finds it difficult and frustrating to learn how to use computers
  2. Ask for help at any time, but especially if you:
    - can’t see the screen clearly
    - can’t use the mouse
    - haven’t used a keyboard before.
     
  3. Computers are there to enhance your life. Think: what would I like to do better, do easier or do more of in my life? Then ask someone for advice on how a computer can help you achieve that goal.
  4. Try to be selective about who you listen to. Those who are negative about computers may be scared themselves or maybe the digital world is just not for them. Don’t let your enthusiasm be dampened by them.
  5. Go at your own pace – don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Everyone comes to computers with a different background and experience, and everyone learns to use them at a different pace.
  6. Set yourself small, realistic goals. If you’re not sure what these should be, discuss them with a friend or with a computer mentor or tutor if you have access to one. Better to be able to find one useful website or send one short email than to end up with a head full of instructions and no results.
  7. Practice makes perfect: don’t shy from repeating the things you’re learning time and time again until you feel you’ve got it. And don’t be scared about making mistakes.
  8. If you start dreaming about mice, and email, and keyboards, you probably need to take a break!
  9. Computers are also for fun. Find out about playing games: crosswords, cards, chess, Suduko, solitaire … And look into using computers to listen to music and the radio and to watch TV and films.
  10. Don’t panic! It really will all make sense in the end. You’ll get there...