Making the most of your online experience
.The Internet has become a truly everyday utility for many people, with large swathes of the population going online for work, recreation, entertainment, shopping and even life advice. Millions of answers to problems can be found a massive array of sites that are constantly developing and emerging, backed up by accompanying apps that only make the experience more engaging. Hours can be lost watching cat videos, figuring out how to decorate homes or catching up on the latest gossip. So you’ve got your device hooked up, you’ve found some spare time and you’re ready to explore. Where to?
Shopping online has seen massive growth over the last few years, with web purchases accounting for a big chunk of many retailers’ revenues. Alongside the high-street names there are hundreds of independent retailers selling everything from clothes to cars. Sites like Etsy and eBay have hundreds of hidden and handmade bargains to spice up your home and big players like Amazon and Asos offer the benefit of reduced prices and speedy delivery thanks to streamlined logistics and economies of scale. Keep an eye out for online-only discounts and offers from sites like Groupon.
Watch a movie
Watching a film online used to be a complicated affair. Early internet users would either buy an overpriced and often huge file from Apple, wait a few days for a DVD/Bluray to arrive or go down the illegal route and pirate a movie using a plethora of file sharing services. The illegal option has been clamped down upon thankfully, opening the door for services like Netflix, Amazon and Now TV. These superb streaming services offer a truly gigantic range of titles that can be watched in 4K Ultra HD without painful download times and monthly fees are surprisingly reasonable. If you don’t fancy forking out for a film, services like iPlayer, All 4 and YouTube have quite literally millions of videos to enjoy for free. Be careful you don’t lose a day to shark-attack videos however.
Expand your mind
The amount of free news and literature on the web is astonishing. Sites like BBC offer a completely free and comprehensive 24 new service that can be accessed globally, complemented by well-written content and videos. Many magazines also have an online presence, alongside online-only article websites. Try out something like Listverse.com, a site that organises pretty much everything imaginable by top tens, or pick an article on Wikipedia and start exploring more about it. Tread carefully, however, as there is an insane amount of fake information, traps for gullible people and opinion that shouldn’t be taken as gospel. Stick to reputable outlets and you should be fine.
Play some games
You don’t necessarily need a high-tech computer or smart device to access games, with many apps and websites now offering engaging games that can be played without the need for heavy duty processors and graphics cards.
Help someone out
The Internet isn’t just about entertainment and self-enlightenment, with huge online communities built to communicate about pretty much everything imaginable. Many charities offer the opportunity to volunteer online, whether it’s befriending someone in need over the internet or contributing to a good cause.
One easy way to help someone out is to pass on your skills and knowledge, with things like the Granny Cloud helping children with reduced opportunities to connect with mature, experienced people to enhance their learning skills and understanding of the world. You can also help people to get their idea off the ground if charity isn’t for you, with crowdfunding sites like KickStarter Crowdfunder helping all sorts of inventions and innovations to get off the ground, even with the smallest investment.
The editorial unit