The age of rotary dial phones and Polaroid cameras have been slowly replaced with the ever-changing technology world including social media and applications.  While this change may seem daunting for some, it truly can help you get and stay connected with your family and friends. Let’s look into three of the most popular social applications out there and how you could benefit from each.

Facebook, by definition, is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. This website can help you connect by viewing and commenting on photos and statuses your loved ones’ post.  You could integrate a family group where group members can share updates and photos in their lives as they happen, message chat or call one of your friends or family members when they are online. Facebook allows many options to keep you connected with what’s going on in your friends’ and families’ lives.  It also contains information that is searchable.  Whether you are into news, golf, politics, animals, travel or knitting there are many sites that can curb your urge for like-minded people talking about what you are interested in.

Twitter is an information network made up of 140-character messages called Tweets. It's an easy way to discover the latest news related to subjects or people you care about. It is similar to a newspaper where you find the headlines interesting. Not only are you getting the news to stay up-to-date and to feel connected, you can watch and follow people of your choice and stay up to date that way. Twitter could be described as a quick minute by minute update of trending issues or your loved one’s life to help you stay connected.

Lastly, Skype is an application that provides video chat for free with other Skype users.  Users can exchange video, text, file transfers, and videoconferencing.  This service gives users the opportunity to see and exchange conversations with another user wherever they are and with whatever they are doing, including multiple people at one time. For example, if you enjoyed cooking with your loved one, you could pull up Skype and talk to each other as you cut vegetables and cooked the meal! The miles between may seem far apart, but with Skype, miles cannot keep you apart.

New technology may be out of your comfort zone, especially if its unfamiliar. Use the information above and try it out; you’ll soon find they are great resources to assist you in feeling connected!

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages and share your first post with us!

For more information on how to get you started, try these sites:

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/facebook101

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/twitter101

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/skype

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