The Hippo


Jan 23, 2020








Getting started on Facebook 

1. Sign up: You’ll need to input your name, birth date, email address and a password.
2. Understand you have a profile page and a home page: the profile page is what everybody else sees, while the home page is where you can see what everybody else is doing.
3. Create your profile: you can input your name, your place of employment, wherever you went to high school or college, your relationship status and where you live. You can also add political and religious views, as well as contact information. Think about what information you want public.
4. Upload photos: Click on upload photos/videos and you will have to choose photos from your computer. You can upload a profile picture, which Facebook users will see, as well as photos for your profile. You can organize them in albums if you like.
5. Search for friends: All you need is a person’s name or email address to search for them on Facebook. Once you find them, invite them to be friends. On the friends front, it’s a good idea to make sure you know who your friends are — you don’t have to accept everyone as a friend.
Tweeting for the first time
Twitter had never really been on my agenda, even as a journalist. But maybe it should have been? In any case, I embarked on a mission to sign up this week — Monday, in fact, while on deadline. 
I entered my name, my email address, a password and created a username. Well, that was comically easy. I received a confirmation email, in which I clicked, “confirm your account now.” And here we go. I have a brand new, super creative Twitter “handle,” @jpmucciarone. 
Immediately, I had the option to follow famous folks, like Katie Couric or Jimmy Kimmel or Justin Bieber. Instead I searched for people I actually knew. It was very easy. Type in a name, hit search and scroll through the entries to find people you know. 
I wasn’t ready to start tweeting just yet — baby steps. But it was easy to get the ball rolling and to see what others had to say and what others are interested in. Particularly in the realm of news, it was easy to follow, say, the New York Times, and then get a rundown of stories. There is a handy icon that looks like an envelope signaling “direct messages,” which are private, and a quill pen icon for composing tweets, which aren’t private. 
I still need to fill out my profile with a photo, or some kind of image, but otherwise, I’m good to go. Let the tweeting and ret`weeting, following, and hashtagging begin. As of noon on Monday, I even had a follower.
What are you looking for?
YouTube — a video forum, letting people view videos as well as post their own. “How to” videos are popular, as are funny animal clips.
Pinterest — a virtual pinboard, where people can find unique craft ideas, recipes, hobbies and more (interests, if you will), then pin it to their board for future reference or to share with friends.
Tumblr — an entirely customizable forum for blogs, allowing users to post text, video, photos, music and links.
Instagram — a quick and easy way to share photos with other social media sites. 
Google + — a direct competitor to Facebook, letting people interact and “hang out” online in groups. Users can break people into “circles,” giving them more control over which people to share content with. 
MySpace — once the most visited social media site, MySpace experienced a decline as people transitioned over to Facebook. A new MySpace was recently launched, but so far it’s not making any waves.
Five things to consider when using Facebook
1. Know the difference between a wall post or a direct message. A direct message is like an email between users, in that only you and the recipient see the conversation. A wall post is different. If you post on a person’s wall or comment on something on their wall, that person will see it, but it’s possible that the general Facebook public, or at least all of that person’s friends, will be able to see that post too.
2. Once you’ve set up your profile, there is a handy privacy button on the top right of the screen marked by an icon for a padlock. Click on it, and it will give you a rundown of key privacy settings, such as who can see your posts, and how it filters incoming messages. 
3. Understand status updates, which essentially let all your friends or the Facebook public see what you’re up to. So if you want to let people know you just had a great meal at a particular restaurant, by all means, include that in your status update, but know that whatever you post there is essentially public information because of the loopholes in the privacy settings.
4. Yes, you want to stay connected with people via Facebook. But you might not want them knowing your every move. So go ahead and shut off the “instant personalization” option that basically lets your friends see when you arrive on partner websites, according to Go to “apps” on the left side of the page, and click edit next to “Instant Personalization,” and uncheck the box that reads “Enable instant personalization on partner websites.”
5. Set security settings for secure browsing, which makes it more difficult for passwords to be stolen when signing into Facebook on public Wi-Fi, according to Business Insider. While you’re at it, enable login notifications, which sends you an email or a text when someone logs into your account from an unrecognized device.
Tablet Talk
• Touchscreen: Make sure it has one. Not all touchscreens are equal. Resistive touchscreens work by measuring the change in electrical resistance when you press a thin film onto the actual screen. You can use any pointing device, like a stylus, pen cap, or your finger, but they’re not very sensitive, so you have to press hard. Some can technically do multitouch, the ability to detect more than one screen press at a time, but not very well. Better tablets — meaning almost all of them — use capacitive touchscreens, on which, only your finger or other conductive stylus will work, but the sensitivity is much higher, making scrolling, typing, drawing, and other functions much smoother. Multitouch, if explicitly advertised, lets you pinch to zoom, assign events to three-finger gestures, etc. Capacitive screens have the capacity for good multitouch, while resistive screens resist more than one finger.
• Processor: In the event you actually get some kind of information on what processor runs the tablet you’re considering, make sure it’s at the very least over 1GHz. Dual-core would be nice, but is rare in cheap tablets. The exact make and model aren’t so important.
• Wireless: Most tablets, even bargain ones, come with 802.11n Wi-Fi. If you only see 802.11g, that’s not bad; if your own router is g instead of n, it makes no difference when you’re at home. 
• Memory: Just like desktops and laptops, tablets have multiple pieces measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB). There’s memory or RAM, where running programs play; there’s storage, where the programs and your files are permanently kept; there’s sometimes an expansion slot for SD or microSD cards; and tablets usually have some kind of dedicated memory chip inside where the operating system is stored. Sometimes this is part of the storage and sometimes it’s completely separate.
• Battery life: Don’t believe it. Everyone uses their tablet differently, and every manufacturer tests battery life differently. At best it’s a rough comparative guide. — John “jaQ” Andrews

Do you really have to Tweet?
The technology know-how you need to get by


1/31/2013 - Jamie Coughlin met his wife about 12 years ago when they were in college. He remembers talking to her on the phone — nothing fancy, just a phone with a landline. There was no texting, not much access to email, and Mark Zuckerberg hadn’t even launched Facebook — in fact, he was still a high school student at Phillips Exeter Academy. 

When Coughlin looks around today, he sees a different world, one that has built a web of communication through smartphones, social media and tablets that can do many of the things computers do but can slide into a folder rather than take up a whole desk. 
“I get excited looking at my kids growing up with technology, and what they might have access to in the years to come,” said Coughlin, CEO and entrepreneur-in-residence at the ABI Innovation Hub in Manchester. 
But what if you sat on the sidelines during the last 10 or 15 years? You’ve heard stories about Facebook posts gone wrong, so you avoid it like the plague. Or maybe you still have a dumbphone because smartphones seem a little complex. Perhaps you are baffled as to why people would stand in line for hours and pay hundreds of dollars for those iPad thingies.
So how do you even begin to get up to speed? 
Dive in. That’s how.
Made for you
“The real point about social media and smartphones and apps is that you have incredibly smart people working hard to make these things as simple as possible, to be as useful as possible,” Gray Chynoweth, chief operating office at Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company in the Manchester Millyard. “So people should know, if they don’t understand something, it’s not their fault; it’s the designers’ fault. Every single day, incredibly smart people are working on trying to make things easier to use and more useful.”
Coughlin said technological advances are, or should be, designed in an intuitive way, meaning that people instinctively have the ability to learn how to use a given tool. So don’t assume something is complicated. You don’t need to think about how complex the technology itself is that brings a smartphone app to life: you just get to benefit from that technology. 
“There is definitely a fear for what is portrayed as new technology, and it can be confusing at first, but if you take a few hours and sit down and play with it, fool around with it, it’ll be fun,” said Joshua Brennick, an interactive media specialist with Pannos Winzeler Marketing in Bedford. “As soon as you use it, you can clearly see the function and what it is and what it has to offer.”
First, Facebook
Don’t get overwhelmed with all the social media and related offerings out there today: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest, and on and on and on. Brennick said Facebook is the place to start if someone has little or no social media experience. The signup process is easy, and it’s the type of social media outlet people can get used to as they go. 
“You can stay connected to friends and family...and you can immediately begin to build relationships,” Brennick said. 
Chynoweth likened social media to visiting a new country for non-experienced users. The best way to learn about a new country is to learn the language. 
“Listen to others who are talking that new language,” Chynoweth said. “All you have to do is set up a Twitter account or a Facebook account and start connecting with people you know. You don’t have to share anything.”
Chynoweth contends that, even for novices, getting the hang of social media is easy. To make connections on a social media platform like Facebook, all people need is a friend’s email address or name to search for them. 
Chynoweth said it’s amazing to see the impact of technology between generations. His 2-year-old son can connect with his grandmother in California using Facebook, tablets or smartphones, in ways previously impossible. 
“These types of things between generations really enrich the relationship,” Chynoweth said. “It’s a wonderful thing to see my son smile, because he knows my mom’s face, even though she’s 3,000 miles away.”
With Facebook, photos are a big piece of the equation. Users can easily post photos, and they can easily look at friends’ photos. Chynoweth said he can quickly find out what’s going on with family and friends by noting their photos from the past weekend. 
“Let’s say you woke up early on a Saturday,” Chynoweth said. “You can find out what’s going on in your college friend’s life by heading to their Facebook page. You can find out what’s going on with your kids. … It really makes connecting with people you care about easy. Maybe you don’t have time for ... a phone call or a visit. You can keep up with them electronically.”
“I think about my mom,” said Kate Luczko, executive director of Stay Work Play, a nonprofit organization working to entice New Hampshire’s young professionals to stay in the Granite State. 
“My mom uses it to keep an eye on other people. She doesn’t post much on her newsfeed,” she said. “She’s not the most technologically savvy person, but she’s able to find her way around pretty well.”
Luczko said Facebook can be a great way to gather information too. Say you’re looking for a new dentist or some kind of service. Pose the question on Facebook, and you’ll get a bunch of responses.
And don’t discount the amusement factor.
“If you’re bored, you can hop on Facebook and you’ll probably find a few funny pictures or funny videos to enjoy,” Brennick said. 
The internet is your oyster
There are so many options for connecting with people online that defining your purpose is important, said Andrew Lynch, professor of marketing at Southern New Hampshire University. 
Lynch no longer has his own Facebook page because it didn’t serve a purpose for his needs. He does enjoy Twitter though. 
So think about why you want a Facebook account, or a Twitter handle or a Pinterest account. Maybe you want to focus on social media with an eye toward your career. In that case, build your professional profile on a social media website like LinkedIn and begin making connections with people in your line of work or your desired line of work. If you’re motive is to connect with family and friends, set up a Facebook account and search for your friends. If your goal is to access the news quicker and more efficiently, look to Twitter. With a strategy in mind, it’s less likely social media will be just a time killer, Lynch said. 
Sometimes it’s hard to tell who to connect with on which sites. “Friending” your boss on Facebook might be a bad idea; instead, LinkedIn might be a better, more professional option.
“I know a lot of people I grew up with that I technically have a personal relationship with, I also know them in a professional capacity now too,” Luczko said. “So there is this gray area.”
LinkedIn allows people to create profiles with resumes, experience and attributes. 
“Similar to Facebook, you can post articles, but it’s more aimed at the business type of contact,” Brennick said.
Many companies are using LinkedIn these days. A manager that’s hiring, for example, might go to LinkedIn to search his network for potential candidates.
If your purpose is to stay on top of the news — celebrity, sports, world — Twitter could be a good way to go. Brennick views Twitter as a step up from Facebook in terms of ease of use. It allows people to input keywords that bring up conversations and content they’re interested in. 
If you see Twitter as place where celebrities make less-than-140-character posts to keep their fans updated on their daily lives, and that annoys and puzzles you, instead think of Twitter as a way to consume news in a quick and efficient fashion. 
“You can almost look at Twitter as instant news, instead of waiting for it on TV,” Brennick said. 
Chynoweth said it probably takes five minutes or so to sign up for Twitter, and then it’s a matter of following people and entities that interest you, whether that’s celebrities or the New York Times. 
“It allows you to be much more productive in learning about what’s happening around you,” he said.
If keeping up with national news sounds overwhelming, find out if your local news station or newspaper is on Twitter. That might be more useful to you, especially if tweets include info about upcoming events and news that affects you immediately, like an impending snow storm. 
A lot of businesses are getting into the habit of tweeting as well, so if you follow your favorite restaurant, for example, you might get tweets about upcoming special events. Retail stores might tweet about sales.
If you happen to have really interesting friends who are on Twitter, you can follow them too. It’s all up to you; if you start following someone who tweets every time his new baby spits up and you find it incredibly annoying, just stop following him.  
If anything is fueling Twitter’s fire, it’s the entertainment industry. Celebrities like to tweet, and plenty of them have hundreds of thousands of followers. So yes, if you want to know what Lebron James is up to, go ahead and follow him. You’re not the only one. 
A word of caution
Lynch recommended taking time to read security policies before signing up for any social media website. Once you’ve got a handle on those policies, spend some time crafting a profile before becoming too active. 
“I think, especially people who are technology novices, social media novices, should always err on the side of precaution in terms of what information they readily release, whether that’s a tweet or a wall post or a pin in Pinterest,” Lynch said. 
It’s not particularly fun, but it’s important for people to pay attention to social media privacy policies and settings. 
“Privacy settings are updated so frequently that toolsets are difficult to stay up to date with,” Coughlin said. 
Keeping your Facebook page personal can get a little tricky for that reason.
“Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times,” Chynoweth suggested as a general rule for social media. 
What smartphone is right for me?
The free one.
Don’t overthink it. If you’ve decided to make the move to a smartphone from a more basic cell phone, Chynoweth suggested just picking out whatever free smartphone your voice plan allows you to pick. It doesn’t matter if it’s an Apple phone or an Android format — just something you can download applications with.  “Just take the upgrade,” Chynoweth said. “You shouldn’t view it as a life choice. You can always change your mind later on. You can always get rid of an app or get rid of a phone.”
To be considered a “smart” phone, certain features must be readily available, said Linda Fanaras, president of Millenium Integrated Marketing in Manchester. The ability to do tasks that a computer can is a big part. This includes emailing, internet searching, editing Office documents, and maintaining an agenda. Useful features include app downloads, for personal or business use, accessing the web at faster speeds, a QWERTY keyboard, physical keys or touch screen, and the ability to sync with a personal email account, Fanaras said.
Smartphones offer a seemingly limitless array of tools, from silly to practical. Smartphones can serve as a GPS by connecting with Googlemaps, which is particularly helpful when you’re lost. One of the most popular apps is the flashlight app, which allows people to turn smartphones into flashlights. Smartphones also act as cameras, mp3 players and daily planners while providing people with easy access to the Internet and email. 
“Apple does a great job of making it super simple to download applications to your phone, and Android has done a great job catching up,” Chynoweth said. “Download something you’ve heard of before. Most companies or websites you visit are going to have an app. Go in and search for it, whether you’re interested in househunting or following sports, or if you’re looking for home decorating tips.”
If your cell phone plan doesn’t offer a free phone after a definite period of time, often a year or two, than a smartphone is going to be more expensive than a more basic phone. Also, consider most smartphones require users to pay for a data plan they probably didn’t have to pay for with a more basic phone. That typically includes network access and some kind of texting plan, since texting becomes infinitely easier with smartphones, which offer full touch screen keypads or a flip-out or slide-out keypad for typing. 
For anyone who has avoided the texting craze, perhaps chalking it up to a high-school trend, try it on a smartphone and you might change your mind. Texting allows you to connect with someone quickly, to share a brief “Running late. B home soon” message without having to make a phone call. As with any technology, you don’t have to get sucked in to the point where you’re texting while eating at a restaurant with friends. 
Luczko has a smartphone for work and a basic cell phone for personal use. For work purposes, it’s useful for her to have a smartphone with which she can quickly snap a photo documenting her travel around the state and then post it to the organization’s Facebook page. She’ll often post pictures from an event. Professionally, it’s handy to have a smartphone to check emails as they come in. It’s helped her chip away at an overwhelming load of emails. 
Luczko said that choosing a smartphone was easier at first. Her first was a used Blackberry a friend gave to her. She’s since picked up an iPhone, which makes things streamlined for her because she had an Apple computer. She mentioned that iCloud allows people to have all pictures taken on their phones automatically download to their computer. It works with iPads too. 
“Because once you have it and you have that access, you’re not going back,” Luczko said. 
A user who is just looking to make calls, text, and maybe a few extras, like email, might need a more basic smartphone. If you’re looking for all the bells and whistles, consider something like an iPhone, Brennick said.
“It’s just very easy to use,” Brennick said. “My parents were very hesitant to get smartphones, but my dad got one and now he can’t put it down.”
Don’t discount smartphones’ ability to take high quality digital images either. 
“The quality of film and photos is just unbelievable,” Brennick said.  
What do I need a tablet for?
The iPad has afforded an entire generation with a simplistic first interaction with the web, Coughlin said. How an iPad comes to life is surely complicated, but using one isn’t. Just point and touch with your finger. 
With tablets, think about what you want to use one for. They come with different screen sizes — some are big enough to watch television shows, while others are closer to smartphones in size, easy enough to hold in the palm of your hand. That’s the beauty of tablets: they are big enough to watch a movie on, but small enough to carry around like a phone, Chynoweth said. 
“It’s great because it’s a mix of a smartphone … and a laptop,” Brennick said. 
What it can do at such a small size is particularly enticing. iPads, for one, have dramatically longer lasting batteries than iPhones and other smartphones. With new features, like keyboards, and access to programs like Microsoft Word and Excel, people are expanding tablets’ uses. 
Like anything else, tablets come with various price points. Beyond that, operating systems are a big part of it. If you have an Apple computer and an Apple phone and you want a tablet, an iPad is probably going to be the easiest for you to adapt to. Similarly, if you have an Android phone, you’ll find it easy to work with an Android tablet, Chynoweth said. 
For Luczko, tablets are all about convenience. If she’s out and about, it’s easier to respond to emails via a tablet, than it is with a smartphone. But tablets are not computers, she says. 
“I don’t use it as often for the things I thought I would,” Luczko said. “It’s really not the same as a computer. I know they sell keyboards and extra things now, but I don’t think people should be thinking they can replace their computer with an iPad. The functionality isn’t quite the same.”
Luczko said she recently used a Google tablet, which she said does a lot of great things, but she was so used to the Apple platform that she had trouble figuring anything out. 
“It wasn’t intuitive to me,” Luczko said. 
Try to get your hands on tablets in advance. Some tablets are designed to be better at certain things than others. 
Like anything else, go ahead and ask questions. Apple offers free classes for people who purchase Apple products. Visit any Apple store and you’re likely to see a crowd of people standing around a table while an employee demonstrates. 
Creating boundaries
Technology has moved incredibly far in a relatively brief period of time and is still moving forward. But it doesn’t have to take over your life. You don’t have to be the person sitting at the dinner table constantly checking your phone.
“If you don’t set boundaries for yourself, no one else is going to do it,” Luczko said. 
Luczko cautioned against becoming too infatuated with technology. 
“If I’m spending all my time on things like that, am I foregoing doing something like going for a walk?” Luczko said. “It’s kind of a balance. What are you looking to get out of it, versus how much time do you have to put into it?” 

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