Social Media Requires A Clean Computer

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You’ve seen the coup attempts. Facebook … MySpace … Twitter …. Blogspot. They’re trying to take over the world. And unlike the short-lived attempts at world domination perpetrated by presidential hopefuls, the Tampa Bay Rays, and [hopefully] the swine flu, social media is apparently here to stay.

Social media is fast becoming the most intriguing way to stay connected with friends, family, and even businesses. The world’s lust for connectivity has stirred online software platforms into action. The key features of social media sites are rapid updates and real-time streaming. We can’t afford to wait around for information — at least that’s what we’ve been told. Users are able to post pictures, links, and short text entries (usually around 140 characters) to update friends and family on their status.

If your best friend sees a great movie, you expect a Tweet (a message sent using Twitter) about it as she’s leaving the theater. You insist that your in-laws upload photos to their Facebook page every night during their vacation to Prague.

Common expectations are that blogs be updated frequently to allow for adjustments in hairstyles, kids’ heights, job changes, and new recipes.

An e-mail a couple of days after the fact will no longer suffice. In fact, e-mail is dangerously close to becoming the new “snail-mail.” It appears that e-mail may soon be placed on the back burner and given a catchy, derogatory nickname of its own. A recent Nielsen report shows that social networking sites and blogs are more popular than traditional e-mail. These trends show the muscle of social media and its rapid ascent into the forefront of Internet culture.

All ages, nationalities, and economic sub-groups have been increasingly hopping on board. I recently heard someone talking about signing up for a “MyFace” account. Well, at least she is trying …

So, have you decided to jump on the proverbial bandwagon? If so, there are a few things you might consider to ease the shock of jumping in to this mad, mad world:

First, make sure your computer is secure. Trouncing around the Internet can make you a bit more vulnerable to hackers. Take simple steps such as changing default passwords and enabling encryption tools to make your system safe.

Second, real-time connectivity requires a good, fast Internet connection.

Clean up your system with a comprehensive scan for viruses, spyware and unneeded temp files. An Internet connection is only as good as its host computer.

Lastly, make sure your operating system, hardware and software are getting along. Peak system performance is crucial to a healthy, speedy Internet connection.

For a limited time, Computer Problem Specialists is continuing to offer its free checkup service to Payson residents. Call (928)-468-0000 to speak to one of our trained technicians or go to http://www.computerproblemspecialists.com. We can answer your questions and guide you through these cleanup procedures — free of charge.

Now go tell the cyber-world that you’ve arrived ... (But it has to be less than 140 characters).

Daniel Taft is the senior network administrator and member/owner of Computer Problem Specialists, LLC with a degree in applied computer science. His career spans more than 20 years.

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