People may think you're a genius when you're actually a master Googler. Learn how to gently tell people to look up the answers to their questions by themselves.
The internet is amazing—it puts much of the wealth of human information at our fingertips. And yet, the more we know we have it all at our fingertips, the more we get too lazy even to use what we have.
Not we, of course. You and I aren’t lazy. But those other people are. They come ask us questions that they could easily answer for themselves by simply using Google. But instead of using Google, they ask us. How do we answer? We use Google and then simply relay the answer. Then they think we’re a genius and they come back and ask us another question.
See also: How to Use Google Like a Pro
How can we gently tell them to look it up themselves and stop bothering us? Fortunately, there’s a wonderful little site called “Let Me Google That for You,” at LMGTFY.COM. You type in a Google search and it gives you back a tiny URL. When someone follows that URL, it will take them to a screen that explains how they can type the search into Google themselves to find the answer.
Here’s a sample link: http://bit.ly/XpmdUk. Use caution; make sure the person will take this in the spirit it was intended, as a friendly nudge. So use smiley-faces in your message, and make it clear that you are doing it with humor.
For other, less potentially emotional ways to protect your time when people want you to do things they could do themselves, see my episode on how to deal with people who ask lots of questions.
Business woman asking questions from Shutterstock