Social Media is the interaction among people by which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks, according to Wikipedia. Simply put, if you are on a computer, you participate in social media in one form or another. To say you do not want to participate in any part of “the network,” means that you prefer to live as a hermit; get rid of your phone and stay home.
For the many people who “don’t get it,” social media is nothing more than social engagement on the internet vs. talking with people in real life. (side note: talking face to face might become unheard of in the future, but this IS my favorite form of communication) No rocket science here. Web-based social networking services make it possible to connect people who share interests and activities across political, economic, and geographic borders. Social media leads to networking which, if you are in any business, leads to an increase in your bottom line which leads to happiness. Plain and simply; happy people are a joy to network with.
We all have time constraints in our busy lives, so to participate in Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, Instagram, etc. is not feasible. Pick the one or two platforms you feel would be a benefit, learn as much as possible to be proficient and schedule a certain amount of time each day to get on the sites. No, you will not be an expert instantly, but you will be one step closer than you were before. The invention of the smartphone has made interacting on any social media platform extremely easy.
If you email, don’t tell people you don’t know how to “attach,” “scan,” or “copy & paste.” These are basic functions that are easy to learn. It’s like driving a car and not knowing where the windshield wipers are. You will find easy to understand tutorials on youtube.com.
I would encourage everyone who is not familiar with computer jargon to learn the following techy terms:
Avatar – An avatar in the computer world refers to a character that represents an online user. Avatars are commonly used in multiplayer gaming, online communities, and Web forums.
Bandwidth – Bandwidth describes the maximum data transfer rate of a network or internet connection. It measures how much data can be sent over a specific connection in a given amount of time.
Blog – Short for “Web Log,” this term refers to a list of journal entries posted on a web page. Anybody who knows how to create and publish a web page can publish their own blog.
Browser – A web browser, or simply “browser,” is an application used to access and view websites. Common web browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, etc.
Link (hyperlink) – A hyperlink is a word, phrase, or image that you can click on to jump to a new document or a new section within the current document.
Pixel – The term “pixel” is actually short for “Picture Element.” These small little dots are what make up the images on computer displays, whether they are flat-screen (LCD) or tube (CRT) monitors. The screen is divided up into a matrix of thousands or even millions of pixels. Typically, you cannot see the individual pixels, because they are so small.
Thumbnail – A thumbnail image is a small image that represents a larger one. Thumbnails are often used to provide snapshots of several images in a single space. They are commonly used by digital photo organization programs as well as visual search engines.
Toolbar – A toolbar is a set of icons or buttons that are part of a software program’s interface or an open window. When it is part of a program’s interface, the toolbar typically sits directly under the menu bar, but can also be vertical on the left or right side of the site.
URL – Stands for “Uniform Resource Locator.” A URL is the address of a specific Web site or file on the Internet. It cannot have spaces or certain other characters and uses forward slashes to denote different directories.
If you are reading this, you are using your smartphone, tablet and/or computer. If you do not understand any of the above terms, ask someone who knows so you can keep up with your children and grandchildren.