Using online social media
You can use online social media to stay connected with friends, share information, photos and videos and keep up-to-date with your interests. Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular online social media websites.
Facebook is probably the best known social networking site, with over 800 million active users worldwide. It’s likely that plenty of your friends and family members already have a Facebook profile.
Anyone over the age of 13 can use the site. Many parents and grandparents use Facebook to keep in touch with grandchildren and family around the world.
How to join Facebook
Before you can experience all Facebook has to offer you need to create a free account which will be your profile page. This can contain as little or as much information as you want.
You can create your account at the Facebook website:
Go to the Facebook website and click on ‘Sign Up’. You will see several boxes that require information such as your name and email address. Follow the step-by-step instructions to join.
Profiles can be created using a real name, or an alias or nickname, and are often accompanied by a photograph.
Once you’ve created your profile, you can also adjust the privacy settings to specify which details you want to be made public.
• a computer with an internet connection
• an email account
Key benefits and features of Facebook
• Facebook is free
• your friends and family may have already joined, find them by searching their name or email address
• it can be used by anyone, anywhere as long as there is internet access
• Facebook is available 24 hours a day so you can contact your relatives in Australia without time zones causing a problem
• users can share messages, video links, photographs and websites
• Facebook can be used to advertise, plan and manage events
• you can use various privacy settings to determine who can view your page and what they are able to see
Twitter is a social networking site that allows users all over the world to comment on news, events and their day to day lives. Known as ‘microblogging’, these comments – ‘tweets’ – have to be very short. Each entry can be no more than 140 characters long.
A tweet can consist of almost anything – your thoughts, a link to a website, a picture, a video, other people’s comments, replies to others comments – as long as it stays within the 140-character limit.
To be able to tweet, you must have a user account.
• a computer that’s connected to the internet
• an email account
Go to the Twitter website and you will see a sign-up form on the homepage.
Follow the step by step instructions to setting up a Twitter account.
Key benefits and features
• Twitter is free to use and anyone, anywhere in the world can join
• users can choose to follow tweets shared by experts, politicians, authors, celebrities and more
• users can share comments from other people by ‘retweeting’ them to their own followers
You can remain private on Twitter, by using an alias or nickname, or by adjusting your privacy settings so that anyone wishing to follow you must request the right to do so.