Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products and all things digital.
Sometimes, choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the best part of my job. This week, I received questions about homeschooling, fixing a computer without a technician, blocking social media and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? Tap or click here to email me directly. I read every email myself.
5G COVID-19 fears
Q: I follow Woody Harrelson on Instagram and he says that 5G radio waves spread the coronavirus. This is frightening!
A: Woody Harrelson is an actor and entitled to believe whatever he wants. Based on the NIH research I have read and my 25 years in the tech industry, I’m confident that 5G signals and coronavirus have no tangible connection except that they’re both invisible to the human eye.
Harrelson’s assertion is only the latest in a wave of coronavirus conspiracy theories. My advice is always to consult the CDC first, using its social media channels to find the newest information. These are some of the foremost health experts in the world and only present facts that they consider settled science.
Tap or click here for more coronavirus conspiracy theories and research that refutes them.
Q: You cannot buy masks anywhere online! I don’t know how to sew. Should I use a scarf or what?
A: Now that experts are encouraging us to cover our nose and mouth, no matter what our profession or where we live, disposable medical masks have become impossible to find. Even cheap carpentry masks, the kind you find at The Home Depot, have been completely sold out.
Many households are making masks. Maybe you thought, “That sounds like a great idea, but I have no idea how to sew.” Worry not, there are easy ways to make protective masks without a needle and thread.
Find quality tech help
Q: I need help with my PC. Since no one can make house calls, what are my options?
A: With official restrictions on home visits, there’s no way to call a technician and quickly get your desktop up and running. What you need is a mature, dependable online forum where tech enthusiasts get together to converse and answer each other’s questions.
This is why I created the Komando Community, where tech enthusiasts can get together and share their knowledge. There are many other benefits to joining, and if you sign up now, use discount code “Thank you” for a free 30-day trial. But one of the biggest perks is that you can find like-minded individuals to help, many of whom are tech professionals and do this for a living!
Block social media
Q: I need to block Facebook during the day while I am working at home. Help!
A: For decades, freelancers and telecommuters have known how difficult it is to work from home. It sounds so fun and relaxing to sit on a sofa and type on a laptop. But when your personal space becomes your office, everything changes; the refrigerator is too available, the outdoors may call your name, and social media is constantly distracting you from the task at hand.
I can’t do anything about spring weather and mid-morning snacks, but I can help you switch off your social media platforms during work hours. While many of us can resist the siren song of Twitter and Instagram, social media is designed to be addictive. It becomes all the more so when you don’t have a supervisor looking over your shoulder.
Set parent controls
Q: I used to tell my kids to get off their screens. Now, they need to be for school. How can I set limits?
A: Ever since smartphones and tablets hit the market, parents have wrung their hands over their children’s screen time. COVID-19 has forced millions of children to stay at home and use technology to connect with their teachers. Without that screen, there is no way to receive assignments and get feedback from the school.
We all have to adjust to this new normal – well, hopefully a “temporary normal” – but the good news is that there are ways to set time limits on specific sites and devices as well as prevent your child from accessing inappropriate content.