I think first you should learn to take good pictures, and then learn about the technical aspects of it.
I advise you to use "auto", which is your friend, and concentrate on taking shots that people enjoy looking at. Learn composition/framing first.
If you must include learning technical things to make you feel more like a real photographer, then learn to use exposure compensation. Shooting in aperture priority or shutter speed priority would be good also. Stay away from manual.
A properly exposed dull photograph is just a dull photograph. Learn to take shots that are enjoyable, compelling, artistic, whatever. Take lots of shots and let the camera worry about the exposure and enjoy yourself. Thanks