One of our favorite topics to discuss is how our parents tend to be woefully clueless when it comes to the latest gadgets and how to use them. There’s the story of my friend’s mom who went to the Apple Store demanding to buy an A-phone—understandable, since A is for Apple—or the one about my friend whose daily morning routine consists of checking her dad’s e-mail, printing each e-mail one by one for her dad to read, and then typing out the reply herself.
Yes, newfangled technology can be confusing, but we promise, it’ll make your lives so much easier. Once you go tech, you’ll never go back.
On the ’net: The basics
This quick and easy tutorial will cover the most essential things you’ll be doing on the net, mainly sending and receiving e-mails and surfing the web.
What: E-mail is short for electronic mail. Signing up for an account lets you create a unique address where people you know can reach you and send you messages. Creating an account is free, and the most popular e-mail service providers on the Internet are Yahoo and Gmail (Google).
How: Start by logging on to the mail website: http://mail.yahoo.com for Yahoo, and http://mail.google.com for Gmail. Follow the steps for creating an account; you will be asked to provide a username and password, and it’s very important to remember this because this is how you will access your account, while your username added to your service provider’s suffix (e.g., [email protected] or [email protected]) will be the address where others can reach you.
Start: Once you’ve created an account, you can start sending and receiving e-mail. You can test it by sending an e-mail to yourself or having your kids send you messages. Any time you want to send or check your messages, simply log on again to the website and type in your user details.
Surfing the Web
What: The Internet has grown exponentially over the years and it has not shown any signs of stopping. It has also become a treasure trove of information, which gives you access to content all over the world, from news to videos to information about your hobbies, restaurants, and a lot more.
Start: Before you can surf the ’net, you will need a browser. A browser is an application that lets you visit websites. Each website, like your e-mail, has a unique address which you type into your browser’s “go-to” bar, and your browser will then take you to the website you want to visit.
How: If you have no idea what the website address is called, you can visit a search engine. A search engine is like a hotel concierge, ask it anything, and it will try its best to find it for you. Popular search engines include Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com)
and Google (http://www.google.com). Be careful, though, when you surf the ’net, because there are websites that aim to scam the unsuspecting or maliciously attack your computer in the form of spyware and viruses. Make sure to always verify that the address you intend to visit is legitimate and avoid downloading (saving stuff to your computer) from untrusted sources.