Using the Internet

Some of you may be thinking that you would like more interaction with people, the Internet is a great resource that can help us do this. On this page will be various bits of useful information to help you connect.

You may not know that at one time I was a Web Designer and Programmer (I worked on many high profile Christianand Business sites and helped innovate some of the stuff you use all the time now – I was what is known as an early adopter). I even won an award for something I did – long boring technology story – yawn. Although I’ve been out of it for a while, the basics remain the same. During this time of shutdown I will be doing what I can to make use of the web.

You may feel nervous and not want to get involved in this stuff, especially after the press make big claims that scare you. The Internet (or to be exact the Web aka World Wide Web) is safer and easier to use than you probably believe it to be.

Being safe on the Web is important and actually reasonable easy. Only use a well known Web site (there are ways of checking others but that would be beyond this very basic guide). Only put in the minimum of information for what you want to do. Never click on links that look suspicious – in truth the more tempting they sound the more likely they are to be suspicious. Keep your software up to date (browser is most important and probably updates itself but you can check this under its settings), virus checker and fire wall, operating system (that is Windows etc). Use a sensible password – have a different one you use for your Bank etc than you do for anything else. Never use a bank password for an ordinary web site (as a precaution). If someone rings you up saying they need your details, they are probably a liar (Banks don’t do this). If anyone rings you to say there is a problem with your connection and it will be disconnected, it is a scam. Just use your common sense – it still works on the Web.

What is Facebook and what if it worries me?

Facebook is a social media web site. It uses a database to store and display information that you and your friends/family put in. There are adverts but they are generally fairly easy to ignore. The good thing is you can easily send messages to friends and families and keep an eye on what they are up to as well. It has other tools that make it very powerful. You might like messenger – a kind of online text messaging system (that is something a mobile phone does if you don’t know), pages (web pages for groups or businesses) and groups (where like minded people can leave messages for each other.

Once you have an account (and it is very easy to get one) you can find existing friends and family (usually using their email address or tell them you are on and let them find you) and ‘friend’ them. Once you are friends you can post your thoughts (you don’t have to) and read other people’s. You can ignore this part and just use the groups or pages if you wished. You don’t have to ‘friend’ anyone you don’t want to and you can remove ‘friends’ if they get annoying.

The bit I don’t like about Facebook is that you can end up (if you are friends with lots of people) with lots of information to look through, much of which will be boring and un-necessary (I don’t care that your cat just eaten its dinner – for instance). But the benefits during this time are enormous. I encourage you to give it a go – you might be surprised.

How to sign up to Facebook

It is easy. Follow the links below and the pages will explain what to do.

Facebooks own help page ….

The Ultimate Guide to Facebook for Seniors …

How to use the Circuit Facebook Group

You can view the group without signing up to it. However, it will work much better for you if you do sign up. You can then add messages or comment on what others have said, if you want to (always be nice though – the old saying of ‘if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all’ is applicable to every Christian on-line, it seems to me).

There is a link to the group on the front page of this site and you can search for it on Facebook using its title
TD&SS Methodist Circuit.

What is the difference between the web, internet, email, texting, etc.

Here is your chance to get educated and amaze your friends. You don’t need to know this stuff but you might find it interesting.

The Internet is a network of computers. There is a bunch of permanently connected computers that have a way of talking to each other. Your computer connects to the Internet but is not properly (or probably – some high powered businesses will be) part of the Internet itself. The Internet is not the Web, the Web runs on the Internet.

The Web (or more properly the World Wide Web) is something than uses the Internet to run. It is a way for information to be displayed (web pages/sites) and makes use of something called hyperlinks (these are links to us) that enable that information to connect to each other.

Email is a separate system to the Web but it runs on the Internet. It enables messages to be sent.

Texting is a different thing again. Mobile Phones have their own version of the Internet through which things like texting happen. However, a modern mobile phone will be able to connect to both of these networks.