If you ever worked among technology geeks (or have been one yourself), you may have come across the following acronym, often given with an exasperated sigh: RTFM. It stands for "Read the Fucking Manual," and it's what a lot of people don't do when they get a new  TV/Stereo/Car/Computer/Vacuum. As a result, they rely on techy types/sons and daughters/strangers to answer every and all of their questions, such as "The vacuum bag is full. How do I get it out of there?" "How do I turn this thing off?" "How do I hook up my iPod?" etc. Techies get annoyed at these questions because they know that if only the owner had just bothered to RTFM, they could have figured it out themselves. 

Around here at BUST HQ I'm the resident geekish type, so I get called upon whenever anyone's computer is having any sort of a glitch, or their email isn't working, or their phone went dead, or they are having a problem with their software, or anything. I'm usually pretty busy with other stuff, so sometimes the best advice I can give them is to "JFGI." Just Fucking Google It. Because what a lot of folks don't realize is that anything -- ANYTHING --  you're having a problem with, someone else has had the same problem, has posted about it somewhere on a forum, and someone has answered it already. 99.99999% of the time this is true.

One thing though: you do have to know how to use your friend Google to her best advantage. Because otherwise it's like the answer my dad always gave me when I'd ask, "How do you spell whateverwhatever," and he'd always answer, "Look it up in the dictionary." And I'd think, "Dammit, if I knew how to find it in the dictionary it would mean I knew how to spell it!"

You may already be a Googling fool like I am, with my motto of "If there's a Debbie, there's a way" to find anything or anyone online. And believe me, I've tracked down some super difficult needles in some really giant haystacks. So you can ignore the next part.

There are a few guidelines to this, but they are very few:

1. If you have a very specific name or model of a piece of technology you should include that in your Google search: iPhone 4S, or Eureeka Canister 455, etc.

2. Other than that, make your query as loosey-goosey as possible. So instead of saying, "the vacuum cleaner bag is stuck inside my eureeka canister 455 vaccuum. how do i get it out?"

just try: eureeka canister 455 bag stuck

or

eureeka canister 455 bag removal

eureeka cannister bag jammed

Ya dig?

If you don't find a good lead searching one way, try another way. And then another way. And then another way.

Of course, you already use Google all the time every day and in every way and far be it for me to tell you about something you already know. But even you might not realize just how many problems --really specific problems --you can solve if only you JFGI.

You're welcome.

Tagged in: the Internet, sound advice, RTFM, problem solving, JFGI, google   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.




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