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BEACON Senior News

Facebook is about more than what you ate for lunch

Aug 29, 2017 01:21PM ● By Adam Cochran

Do you know the difference between the internet and the World Wide Web? Many people don’t.

The internet is the massive network of computers that allows you to use email, send pictures via your phone, and see who’s at the door from all the way across town, using that new video doorbell you keep seeing on the home shopping channel.

The World Wide Web is the collection of websites that you access by typing an address into the web browser of your device.

It’s acceptable to say, “I went on the internet to find out if giraffes can see in color.” But it’s more accurate to say that you did your research on the web.

Everything you do on the web is done via the internet, but not everything on the internet is done using the web.

Where does social media fit in?

Sometimes you’ll hear the argument that social media is the new World Wide Web, suggesting that Facebook is the preferred channel for information. Rather than visiting to read the news, for example, many people simply follow the BEACON Senior Newspaper on Facebook and let the news come to them. This is a totally acceptable way to get the news, but you don’t want to use social media as your only source for gathering information online.

Don’t limit yourself

The biggest downside of using social media sites exclusively is that they only show you what they think you should see. If you follow The BEACON on Facebook, you won’t get all of the paper’s updates. You’ll only see updates that Facebook thinks you will interact with.

It’s also important to remember that there are great sources for news, information and shopping that you’ll never find if you don’t go directly to sites like or

But there are some things social media does better by design than the web ever could.

Social media’s advantages

If you lose a pet and don’t post about it on a Facebook page designed to help find lost animals in your area, you miss out on the best possibility of reuniting with your furry friend.

The reason it’s so effective is because when you post your lost pet update, everyone in the group shares the post on their own Facebook pages, connecting with their friends. Suddenly you have a whole network of pet sleuths helping you.

Social media is also becoming the best place to sell your used items. Unlike sites like Craigslist, Facebook shows you the first and last name—and usually the face—of the person with whom you are dealing. It’s also becoming the best place on the web for job searches, business recommendations and even product reviews.

So the next time you hear someone say, “I don’t use social media because I don’t want to see what my friends ate for lunch,” explain to them that social media has as many practical uses—like videos of cats getting scared by cucumbers.

Send your technology questions to Adam in care of the BEACON or email him directly.