Choosing the right network


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Choosing the right network

People enjoying each other's company and technology by using their tablets in the local library

What's coming up

Social media has many different options for connecting to people around the world.

In this activity, you'll learn about some of the different social networks and what you can do with them.

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Social media possibilities

There are a lot of exciting things to do on social media. Which two of the following things could you do on a social network site?

Keep in touch with people I already know

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Share my interests and hobbies with other people

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Post up photos of other people without their permission

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Always get permission before posting any photo of another person

Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter logos

Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter

Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are three of the world's most popular social networks. They have slightly different features, which mean they appeal to different people.

Let's hear from Ellie, Suzanne and Simon on which they use and why.

Ellie, 42

"My kids are old enough to look after themselves these days, so I've found myself with a bit more time to socialise."

Ellie uses her tablet on the comfort of her lounge at home
Facebook logo

"I'd lost touch with a lot of friends over the years, but Facebook has helped me make contact with people again. It's great catching up with everyone. I've shared lots of photos, so people can see what I've been up to, but my privacy settings mean I choose who can see them."


Meet Suzanne. She's getting married in 6 months' time and couldn't be more excited, but there's still so much to plan.

"I'd been really stressed, but since I've been using Pinterest, I've really managed to get my thoughts together.

Woman holds a beautiful bouquet of colourful flowers
Pinterest logo

"By typing key words like bouquet, dream dress and wedding cake into the search bar, I've been able to find so much inspiration for the big day!

When I find an image I want to save, I just add it to my Pinterest 'wedding board' which works just like a real pin board. I've shared this with lots of my friends, but kept it private from my fiancé, as I don't want him to see the dress."


Twitter is actually a very simple idea. People post short updates to tell the world what they're up to. By including a hash tag in their updates – a special key phrase with a # in front of it – they make it easier for others to search for them.

If you like what someone's saying, you can follow them and see their updates, even if they don't follow you.

Twitter logo
Someone watches a live tennis match on their smartphone

Simon is a massive fan of tennis and is watching the Wimbledon tournament on tv.

He types #Wimbledon into the Twitter search box to see what people are saying about it.

Shows the word Wimbledon typed into a search field with a list of clickable options
Shows an image of a tennis player on a Twitter feed with the hashtag wimbledon

He replies to a few updates. In the time between matches, it's great chatting with his tennis-loving friends.

Three social media icons/buttons showing media, connections and conversation

So which one's right for you?

You've been introduced to just a few of the main social networks out there. Which one do you think might suit you the best? Let's have a bit more of a look at what they can do.

The benefits

Social networks have a lot to offer. They can be used purely for entertainment, as a business tool, or as a way of sharing your thoughts and feelings with the world.

They give you the chance to keep in touch with old friends and can even help you make new friends who share your interests.


eSafety Tip

Privacy concerns

It's always a good idea to check the privacy settings on any social networking account you open.

You should always have the option of hiding your posts from the public, and you may be able to share only with selected groups among your connections.

A handheld device showing a range of social media logos

Your choices

There are a number of social networks out there and many people use more than one on a daily basis.

This activity covered three of the most popular choices: Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, though there are others. Each of these sites is better than the others for doing certain things. It's up to you to decide which would suit your needs the best.


Well done, you've come to the end of the Choosing the right network activity.

You've learnt about choosing the right network and that different networks are good for different things.

In the next activity, What does a social network look like?, you'll find out more about the features some social networks share.

Family members from different generations laugh and enjoy themselves looking at the screen of a smartphone