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You thought you were doing well just figuring out how to use your email to converse with family and friends. Then comes along this “Social Media” buzz. Now what in the world is that all about? We thought we would take this opportunity to touch on some of the common terms and put it in “English” for you. Many of these resources can be very useful in staying connected.
The broad term “Social Media” are web-based technologies that people use to converse and share content online while forming personal and professional relationships. There are numerous options from Twitter (a website for posting text-based posts that are 140 characters long) to Linked In (a professional networking site), MySpace (a social networking site recently surpassed by Facebook) to You Tube (the most popular website for uploading, viewing and sharing video files). We will focus on just a few technologies that are basic, practical and easy to use.
•Free Email Sites
There are a number of companies that allow you to use email at no charge. Three recognized names are Gmail which is the Google approach to email; Yahoo! Mail Classic, a favorite standby; and Bing, is a new popular player. Simply go to that website and follow instructions to set up an account.
•Facebook (www.facebook.com)
Currently the most popular social networking site, Facebook is a website for connecting and interacting with people. Stay current with family members or search for someone you went to school with. To “friend” someone on Facebook is to request permission to add him or her to your online network of friends. Pictures and comments personalize your “wall” (your posting). This is a great way to stay connected with family. And again, free.
•Web Cam’s
Many come as part of your laptop computer but can also be purchased as an accessory. You go online, tune in the web cam and this allows you to actually see and talk with the other party through the computer. We know people who use this on holidays to visit with relatives who are unable to be with them and then there are those folks who turn it on daily to watch a grandchild at play.
•Cell Phones
There are lots to choose from out there from IPhones to Blackberries – all great for conducting business. But for a simple phone just to stay in touch or for emergency use, the Jitterbug is a great choice. It has a keypad with buttons big enough to see and use, plus a powerful speaker. You will have to forgo the camera but will gain the user friendliness of the phone.   
•Craigslist (www.craigslist.com)
A popular website for buying and selling items. It is a network of geographic-specific (just type in Fort Wayne) communities that feature free or inexpensive online classified advertisements.
Want to learn more about easy applications for the computer? Join us at Kingston Residence Assisted Living, 7515 Winchester Road on Tuesday, February 22 at 2:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to 747-1523.

The Waynedale News Staff
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