Friday, April 3, 2009

Internet Magic Friday

Jane Booras is the Editor of numerous newsletters including our Campus Times. She will be sharing how you can find whatever you need - photos, clipart, information, maps, phone numbers - on the Internet.

Social Networking. Should You?
For years we’ve heard the word “networking.” It’s a computer-age word that I first remember hearing in the 80’s, and related to computers themselves. Wikipedia defines “networking” as, “the act of using a computer network (computers that are connected so they can communicate either by a wired or wireless network); the act of meeting new people in a business or social context.”

So, we initially heard the “networking” word related to computers themselves, then in a business sense such as “networking” to find a job, leads or prospects for a business, babysitters, or the best auto dealer. But in recent years, we have begun to hear more about Social Networking – connecting with people with like interests. Why? Because networking is effective. People find it useful and meaningful in their lives.

Thus the “springing up” of Social Networking sites on the Internet like My Space, Utube, Facebook, Twitter and the dating sites. At first, I sort of turned up my nose at all of them. After all, I’m not looking for a date, and I don’t want to post a video of anyone I know dancing on tables or playing air guitar.

But there is one social networking site that is different, and you may want to check out – and that’s Facebook. Facebook is different. For one thing I have not found it to be provocative or in bad taste as I’ve found other sites to be - and it’s not just for kids. You find people of all ages there. Not just businesses or celebrities either - just plain everyday folks. And Facebook is free – so far!

Giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. That’s Facebook’s stated motto. Since joining Facebook, I have made contact with several (long-lost) relatives, former classmates, and my kids’ friends from grade and high school.

But the real magic of Facebook for me is that in just a few minutes of surfing each day, I learn what my children, grandchildren and friends are thinking about today, what they are planning for the weekend, what movies they’re raving about, if they are sick or blue or happy – little “snippets” of their lives that I would never have known. And I can, in turn, share my thoughts and opinions with them. The “posts” are always short, and they are like personal glimpses into their lives, a special moment that might never have happened because I won’t see them in person or talk to them today. It’s like getting “face time” with special people in your life - even far flung family and relatives that you almost never see in person or even talk to on the phone.

I get to see the pictures they took on their cell phones, what my former classmates and kids’ friends look like now. Can you believe George in now a doctor? Imagine that my niece is now a college professor!

Well, that’s the WHY. Next, we’ll discuss HOW TO. First, though, just go to, then the menu, and click “about.” This will give you an overview of the site.

Here’s my Facebook page. If you want to join, set up your own profile page and start communicating with friends and family, come back next Friday.


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