I have a rather common problem for people in my field of study (computer science). The problem is this: People, especially relatives, ask you stuff about their computer-related problems, for example: "What kind of anti-virus program should I install?" or the much more frequently asked "Can you cleanup my PC?" one. I really dislike such questions, because they have nothing to do with what I study or what I will do for a living in my career later on. Also, it sucks that some family members or even my landlord assume I can help them just because I study computer science.
It feels like others are totally ignorant and just assume you are a genius and know everything about anything related to something about "computers", regardless of what it is. This gets especially interesting if you get questions about rather exotic programs that you have never even seen yourself beforehand.
The fact that I get such questions bothers me a lot, as it is assumed that I can help to fix their problems, regardless of what I have or want to do. Also, I feel isolated as a "geeky" person, a weirdo, by asking me such things without talking to me about anything else. It feels like what I do is a minor thing.
So: How can I fix this? My targets are these:
- Tell those people, who expect me to help them with their totally random problems, that I'm not their personal technical support for their printer or whatever
- Do 1) without hurting their feelings a lot, I'd rather tell them that I'm just not competent enough to fix their problems, however, this is not an option due to my field of study. (Note: I already tried this and it was ignored, because "I know that, because I study computer science")
- Still have them feel like I'm a helpful person, but not a magician