Connect with the world faster

It is quite hard to understand why anyone would bother to ask (sometimes silly) questions these days when answers lie within the tips of our fingers – literally. 

Back in the day, we used to have the ordained task of trekking to school or public libraries, or in some cases, rely on the local nerd to help answer questions and grasp difficult concepts.

Most of you don’t realize it, but we carry information boxes via our smartphones and tablets daily. It is easy, however, to get bombarded by misinformation and what is now dubbed ‘fake news’.

This is why it’s important for you to be able to identify credible sources when conducting research or looking for quick answers.

Information overload


One source of information that we subconsciously consume daily is social media. Thanks to the advent of the Internet, news, and information can reach us within milliseconds.


We can now tune into local news broadcasts only to get things that are specific to our areas of interest.


A quick and ill-prepared online search for a diagnosis, however, can lead to you discovering that you only have three days to live.


Worse yet, you might even “uncover” an imminent evil ploy to destroy the world and have us living underground or under the ocean.


Not all such theories, however, are far-fetched. Soon we will be seeing flying cars and man-manned drones such as the EHANG 184.


And whether rumour of fact, these quick news snippets get us thinking and prompts further research into more credible sources.

Uses of social media

Your football clubs, politicians and musicians are all actively using them to break new signings, announce new albums or push new policy or campaign objectives.


In addition, most, if not all companies, banks governmental institutions and even religious organizations now have a presence on social media. They use it to aggressively promote their brands or agenda.


So, you see, ignoring the news and social media completely these days is the equivalent of retreating to a cabin in the woods or cave. You would be shutting yourself completely from family and the rest of the world.


A social media detox is probably not a bad thing to do. We often get overly bombarded by information. However, skipping a week can leave you feeling as though you just emerged from the stone ages!

Here is a quick guide to the mainstream information sources that you can use as starting points for your research.

Google:

The biggest search engine and while it generates more results (quicker than other search engines ) – it also naturally, carries a lot of misinformation.

Google specifically has great features such as the voice-activated ‘OK Google‘ feature. It is quite responsive and good if you can’t be bothered to type but need voice-activated quick responses.

You can quickly get the latest football scores, the next flight to Tokyo, or the latest stock price of Oil or Bitcoin.

Wikipedia:

Always a quick reference guide (commonly used here). Bear in mind that their entries are put together by ordinary people.

So while fairly accurate, you should cross-reference information there especially when it comes to dates and events.

The website, however, gets reviewed/verified regularly and is therefore still quite a practical ‘go-to’ source for you to get quick facts. Be wary of the usage of short ‘Wikis’ though.

Investopedia:

For credible and simple to understand finance-related terms concepts on the go along with related news and great blog. They even have a great simulated stock trading game that you can enjoy.

Twitter:

Brandishing the iconic blue bird logo, Twitter is quick, instant, and addictive to some (no names mentioned).

Twitter is the best platform enabling you to announce and share information quickly via your mobile devices. News often breaks on it often before mainstream can media can announce/publish it.

It’s even quite common for news anchors to quote the tweet handle of a politician or celebrity when delivering news these days.

Facebook:

Launched as the first real (public) social media platform. It was designed to connect university/college peers. It has since grown to be the one source of finding your old flames, colleagues, family.

Authorities and companies are known to have used it to find out criminals or veto job candidates.

The platform was even allegedly used as a source for political campaigns and meddling with outcomes of a certain major presidential election.

It has, since its inception in 2004, been a place where many applications such as gaming application developer Zynga have made millions by capitalizing on our addiction to mobile games.

Facebook also has its other uses. It serves as a large marketplace to sell things, sends instant messages (with video-calling), and provides us with security alerts in times of terror attacks and natural disasters.

LinkedIn:

This app is important but often overlooked source of company information, recruitment, and career-building website. Though it looks similar to Facebook, it is more career-oriented and a great source for recruiters to head-hunt find you online.

LinkedIn gives you an extra professional ‘leg-up’ and even enables you to quickly convert your profile into a well-structured PDFed CV.

So useful, that it was acquired by Microsoft late last year. It is a powerful resource for their CRM solutions to be able to track individuals, companies, and decision-makers.

Instagram:

This has become a lot more than a place to post pictures of your dog´s gourmet dinner. This picture-based app has a fully-fledged marketing engine backed up by hashtags like Twitter. Like Whatsapp, it also now belongs to Facebook.

It has become a necessary tool for both, individuals and businesses and of course, celebrities like Kim Kardashian.

Instagram took over, in terms of popularity, the likes of similar older picture sharing platforms such as Photobucket or Flickr.


WhatsApp:

Owned by Facebook (if you didn’t know). This phone and the desktop-based app got their edge by taking over the SMS function from mobile operators.


We don’t send SMSes anymore. And if you still do, it’s usually because your phone is too old – or you are up to something shady! 🙂


Blackberry (R.I.P) started this idea with the BBM Messenger. But like others that tried and failed using exclusivity, not everyone wanted a Blackberry just to use that feature.


Enter WhatsApp with the ability to use your mobile phone number rather than the device itself to set it up. And just like that, it snatched up the whole market!

Running off Wi-Fi or your mobile data, you can instantaneously share videos, links, and pictures.


You can use it to host – or rather – facilitate group events like the planning of a surprise party, a birthday party. It can help you also get serious things done. You can collaborate on assignments, prepare a presentation, or (for start-ups on a low budget) launch a marketing campaign.

The funniest thing is how we now have people walking with more authority – with the title of “WhatsApp group admin”.

Snapchat:

This animated short video-making application is more for the youth but you can also use it for enterntainment. Snapchat is used mostly by celebrities like DJ Khaled – who is often viewed as its ‘ambassador’. He even owns shares in the company.

It also has also recently surged in popularity (number of users) and earned a place with some of the business powerhouses on the NYSE.

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