Why use social media?

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Social media allows you to connect with family, friends, and new people who share your interests. This is a quick “getting started” guide to social media. It explains the different types of social media and what you can use them for.

Why use Facebook?

Facebook is a free social networking site that can be a great way of connecting with people. Setting up an account is simple and here are a few of the benefits:

Connect with old friends

It is easy to lose touch with school or work friends from long ago, but Facebook can be a great way to reconnect with them. When creating your profile you will be asked to put in some personal details, such as your old school, college, place of work. From this information, Facebook will generate lots of people you may know. You can add these people as “friends” and you’ll be able to message them online. If you’re worried about sharing your personal details online, check out our safety on social media page for more information on this.

Join local community groups

Facebook allows anyone to create a “group” and invite others to talk about common interests. This means that whilst social media is great for connecting people online, it is also a great way to search what is going on in your local community. You can use the search tool on Facebook to look for your town and in the results you are likely to find events, shops, and groups in your local area that you click on to find out more and stay informed.

Why use WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a private messaging service that you can download onto any smartphone. It is a bit like texting, but it uses the internet, so it’s free to use. You can send a message to anyone else who has WhatsApp, and you can set up groups so you can message multiple people at the same time. You can even call people through WhatsApp – it’s a great way to call internationally for free. However, make sure you are both connected to Wi-Fi instead of using internet data as this can run out quickly and be expensive to top up.

Why use Twitter?

Twitter is an online news and social networking site where users post and interact with each other with messages or “tweets” restricted to 140 characters. Unlike Facebook, where anything you say will only go to the “friends” you’ve added, Twitter posts are completely public, and you can find anyone – including celebrities, companies, and news organisations – on Twitter.

It can be a great way to keep up to date with news as it comes in, as well as popular discussion around the topic. You may wish to “follow” news accounts, such as BBC News, The Guardian, as well as famous people you admire.

Why use Youtube?

YouTube is a free video sharing website that makes it easy to watch videos online. Here are the great ways that you can use it:

Search for old videos on Youtube

With a huge range of content available you are bound to find some old videos that are of interest to you. Why not search old videos of your local area and see what is available. For example, if you enter ‘Bradford Town Hall 1900’ you can find footage of the earliest videos taken in 1896! Another idea is to search old music videos that you haven’t seen in decades. For example, ‘The Beatles gig Liverpool 1963’ comes up with original footage. You can also watch old TV programmes, footage of your favourite musicians and singers – almost anything!

Learn something new on Youtube

There are many useful videos on Youtube that can help you in daily tasks. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

There are so many possibilities. If you find a video you like there you can click on the person who made it (their name will be just below the video) to see what other videos they have made. You can even “comment” on a video to start a conversation with the person who made the video.

Using social media is nothing to be afraid of – if you take normal precautions and understand your privacy settings, it be great fun and a good way of connecting with people.