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Take Your Computer Knowledge to the Next Level
Take Your Computer Knowledge to the Next Level
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It may seem like everyone around you is comfortable with online communications and social media, but it is something that many people struggle with. If you have problems keeping up with the latest technology, using it in a way that enhances your life, or just don't always understand what others are talking about regarding the latest app or social media site, you aren't alone. Learning more about the features available on these sites will help you decide if using them is the right choice for you.

01

How to start a YouTube account

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YouTube is a great way to share information, connect with others, and earn some cash. Setting up a YouTube channel is quick and easy. When you log into your YouTube account — which is linked to a Gmail account for most people — click on your profile in the upper right corner of the screen. A drop-down menu will open up; select "create a new channel." You will be given the option of choosing a new, custom name for your channel or using your own name. Select one or the other, click "Create," and you are ready to go.

Upload a profile and cover photo for your channel, and write a description. You are now ready to upload videos of your cooking adventures, child-rearing hilarity, or silly pet experiences!

02

Getting more from your Facebook account

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The temptation to delete your Facebook account can be huge, particularly during times when the political or societal climate is tense, and scrolling down your page gives you more stress than any benefits you can identify. There is no reason you need to doom scroll through your newsfeed, though — you can skip that section completely. Facebook has many other valuable features.

If you are ready to clean out your closet or garage, Facebook Marketplace is a great way to clear some space and maybe make a little money. It is also a good place to look if you are in the market for furniture, a new-to-you automobile, or even a babysitter.

Facebook Messenger is a handy alternative to texting. If you are on a computer, using Messenger allows you to type with a traditional keyboard, which is easier than using your phone’s keyboard. You can also attach files, articles, and other media quickly and easily when using Messenger, and their video chat option continues to improve.

03

Deleting your Facebook account

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If, after careful consideration, you decide it is time to get off Facebook, deleting your account may seem like the next logical step. However, there is a middle stage. You can deactivate your account. This makes it invisible to others and prevents it from showing up in a search. Click on the account menu located on the top right of your Facebook page and select settings. Click on “general,” where you will be given the option to manage your account. From there, you can select deactivate, confirm your decision, and then you are done.

For those confident they want off Facebook permanently, you will need to go through Facebook’s help menu, located under the down arrow at the top right of your page. The help menu will give you a link to archive your page if you want, before deleting it permanently.

04

Using delayed send in Gmail

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You can use the delay send feature that is built into your Gmail inbox settings to prepare emails ahead of time and schedule them to send when appropriate. After composing your email, click the send button in the compose box. You will get an option to schedule send. From there you can select a send for the following morning or afternoon, or click on a calendar to schedule more precisely.

You can also give yourself a workaround for those small mistakes we all seem to notice right after hitting "send". Go into settings — the gear icon in the top right of your inbox — and select "see all settings." On the "undo send" line, you can direct Gmail to give you a cancellation option for 5 to 30 seconds after you've sent an email. This is also a handy way to correct Gmail's ctrl+enter quick key, which automatically sends emails and is pretty easy to hit accidentally.

05

Creating the perfect signature in Gmail

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Creating an email signature allows you to provide the information you want your contacts to have without adding it manually. Done properly, an email signature adds a professional polish to your correspondence.

Open your email account and click on the settings gear on the top right of the page. Click “see all settings.” Scroll down until you get to the Signature line and text field. Your signature can contain an image from your Google Drive, but be sure it is set to share publicly or it won’t show up.

06

Using drag-and-drop in Gmail

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The drag and drop feature is a quick way to move attachments onto your desktop. Make your browser window a bit smaller, so you can see your desktop behind it. Hover over the attachment, click, and drag it onto your desktop. There is no need to click on the download link, the attachment will download automatically. This is a handy feature, but you will still need to be cautious when opening attachments from those you don't know.

07

Operating systems on Macs vs PCs

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The major difference between Macs and PCs is their operating system. Macs use macOS, while PCs use Windows. One reason that Macs are generally considered more stable than PCs is that Apple builds both the hardware and software for their computers, making stability issues less of concern.

Of course, the feature that makes Macs more stable also makes them more expensive. Because of the many manufacturers that create machines that run Windows, and the varying quality used, it makes sense that PCs may have quality differences across brands, but this also means people who don't need high-level functionality or specific Mac offerings aren't limited to a specific price point.

08

Choosing between a Mac and PC for your personal needs

buying a mac or a pc

There is no one clear choice when it comes to Macs and PCs. Macs are often used by people who work in design, while PCs are a popular choice for gamers and developers. Microsoft products, such as Word and Excel, once strictly available for PCs, are now available for Macs as well.

09

Affordability of Macs and PCs

There is a definite price gap between Macs and PCs. Even the lowest-end Mac product will cost more than many high-end PCs. Whether the cost difference is worthwhile depends on several things. If you work in design or are studying it in school, a Mac allows you to use the same tools when working on your home computer as you do at work or school. Macs also have the reputation of lasting, with many users replacing batteries and adding memory to computers that are nearly a decade old. The same user with a PC may replace their computer twice over the same lifespan, though depending on the level of machine, the cost could still be comparable.

10

Understanding TikTok

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Keeping up with the latest on social media isn’t easy. There are new apps released constantly, and it can be hard to guess which are going to take off and which are destined to fizzle. TikTok is one that has taken off in a huge way.

TikTok allows users to share short videos with their followers. The app is designed to allow for quick and easy editing, and the video clips are rarely longer than one minute. For those new to TikTok, content is easy to find. The FYP, or For You Page, is full of recommended content, pulled by an algorithm designed to match your interests with content providers. With over 800 million active users, TikTok is here to stay, at least until something more interesting comes along.

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