Connecting and sharing online


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Connecting and sharing online

A few people crowding around their mobile screens sharing what they see

What's coming up

There's lots to see and do on the internet, but did you know that it's also a great way of keeping in touch?

In this activity, you'll learn about how you can use social networks to keep in touch and share with people, wherever they are in the world.

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A smaller world

Anyone with an internet connection can talk to people all over the world at no extra cost. One of the most popular ways of doing this is by using social networks.

A social network is an online community where people can share information with each other in a number of ways. Different social networks offer different things but there are some features, such as sending private messages, which they have in common.

Showing a range of people on front of a globe suggesting a community
A hand held device showing a range of social media logos

Why join a social network?

As well as being a really handy way to keep in touch with people, social networks can also be great fun. You can't always be with your friends or family, but you can still chat or share experiences with them online.

Have you taken a photo or seen a video you wanted to share? Social networks let you do just that.

You can share a website link, or upload your own photos and videos from your camera or phone.

A mobile device showing a holiday photo with cancel, change and share buttons
Computer screen showing the holiday image from the previous mobile device, now published on a facebook

People often like to share pictures of their holidays. If you took a photo of a posh hotel or a stunning sunset, you could post this and share it with everyone you're connected to.

You could also share thoughts and post messages about your hobbies and interests. Any like-minded people that see these updates can then join the conversation by leaving a comment.

Mobile device with an example message or update that could be posted to facebook
An 'add friend' button

Who sees your updates?

Once you become a member of a social network, you can see who else is there, find your friends, then start connecting and sharing with them.

The people you decide to connect with will be called 'friends', 'followers' or something similar, depending on which social network you're using.

These people will be able to see and comment on anything you decide to share, although you can usually change these settings if you want to.

People often like to share pictures of their holidays. If you took a photo of a posh hotel or a stunning sunset, you could post this and share it with everyone you're connected to.

A 'share' button
eSafety icon

eSafety Tip

Think about who you connect to though

If you've taken photos of your children or grandchildren, some people might not want these photos shown to the public. In a situation like this, it might be better to ask permission first or share the photo in a private message, which works a bit like email.

An empty form requesting name, email, password and phone number details

Ready to start sharing?

So, what do you need to do in order to start connecting and sharing? Let's look at a few steps you should take.

Signing up

To sign up, you'll usually be asked to provide an email address and then create a password.

You may be asked to go to your email inbox and open an activation email. This will contain a link that you'll need to click on to open your account for the first time.

Making connections

Once you're set up you can start searching for people you know. To do this, type their name into the search box then click the button to connect with them.

You might start receiving connection requests from other people when they find out you've joined the network. It's up to you to decide if you want to connect with them.

A social media icon depicting a connection request
A computer screen showing a range of social media logos

Communicating and sharing

You're now ready to start chatting and sharing with the people you've connected with. Who will you get in touch with and what will you share first?


Well done, you've come to the end of the Connecting and sharing online activity.

You've learned why social networking sites are a good way to keep in touch, as well as the types of things you can share online.

In the next activity, Choosing the right network, you'll find out about some of the different social networks so that you can pick on that you like best.

Multiple generations sit and play on their smartphones