You are the IT department

If you happen to live in a family where you are the only person that knows about technology and computers then you will have the honor of becoming the IT department of your family, whether you volunteer or not. Being the tech guy or girl around the family unit is both challenging and rewarding because it's fun to help your family and makes you more proficient at the things you already know. Helping your grandmother over the phone to find out why her file disappeared can be frustrating at first, but over time you will find that the communication skills and knowledge you gain will help you become an even better technology expert and can take those skills anywhere you want.

My computer exploded!

You've likely heard all of these stories from people you associate with. Your mom says that her computer exploded, your grandfather says his file disappeared, your aunt can't figure out why her computer isn't starting up. These things will happen frequently to family members who get a new computer or mobile device. Becoming your family's computer tech support means you will have to know the ins and outs of each device and how to troubleshoot it and fix it. The first way to do this is to frequently use your devices for more than just what you want ot use them for. Find out how it can be possible for a file to disappear and troubleshoot a way to get them back, figure out a way to fix a computer that is missing startup files, have a list of reasons for why the iPad suddenly looks so dark and boots slowly. All of these things are key, so keeping up with tech forums that have answers already in the post will give you quick analysis of problems and enable you to troubleshoot tTech SupportCredit: Wikimedia Commonshings faster.

Understand that not every device you work with will have internet so you can't rely on just talking over the phone or going over your family member’s house and pulling up the internet to fix the problem. Either being proficient at what you are dealing with beforehand or having a device like a smartphone or iPad with 3G data will be key to you solving any problem you come across. I always have my smartphone on me and if for some reason I didn't have the capability to figure out what was causing their device to not work properly or something was missing and I couldn't find it I do have internet access.

Have the right tools

My article here on tech gadgets lists a laptop kit that has a bunch of things you will likely need to troubleshoot anything. I recommend you get a kit with various little tools and carry it with you when you head over to your grandparents house that arFlashdriveCredit: http://www.morguefile.come freaking out because their pictures are missing or their computer won't start. It's important to have the necessary tools to get the job done. I personally have a usb flash drive with a bunch of programs loaded on it that can boot from the flash drive itself, this way if there's an operating system problem or an issue with a computer that has no internet connection you can still fix it because you have the tools necessary. I don't use tablets so I'm not a professional on those yet, but I'm sure there are tools necessary to fix a tablet that you can buy for cheap. The key point here is that when you are going to be put into this role of tech support for your family you need to have the right tools to get the done.

It's all in the mind

MindCredit: Wikimedia Commons

The last key point I want to touch on with being tech support for your family is having the right mindset. I know because I'm put into this role how frustrating it can be to help over the phone or answer questions that either make no sense or are complicated to explain to someone who doesn't know anything. Changing your mindset and putting yourself in their shoes makes things easier to explain and sympathize with. If you were brand new at something and they were professionals at it then it would cause you anxiety when they lose you and get frustrated because you're lost with what they are saying. Stay cool and understand that you know more than them and this will aid you in your quest to solve their tech problems without pulling your hair out or losing your mind.

There is also the fact that if something takes you a while to figure out or you have to come back another day with the right program or tools to get the job done they can be in a state of panic. There's nothing worse than sitting around knowing that you potentially lost your precious photos of your grandchildren or a file that had a huge list of important things that just disappeared out of nowhere. Having the mindset of they don't know what's going on and are worried about their device working can put you in a state of control and sympathy which will

Now you know

So now that you have all of these tips and tools ready at your disposal you are capable of fulfilling the role, whether volunteering or not, of being your family's tech support. Don't fret because your family will be grateful for your services and you can very well get something out of it! Having the knowledge to solve their problem, feeling good about it, and potentially getting a free meal or something for your efforts makes this task not as bad. If the feeling of knowing your family members are happy that their problems are solved isn't enough, you will probably gain a whole list of practical skills and knowledge on the job and this will aid you in your own personal growth. Taking these skills with you in the field you work for will only make things better in the long run so enjoy the good service you are doing.