Beyond Email: Social Posts, Status Updates, and Tweets

Lesson 7: Social Posts, Status Updates, and Tweets



Imagine you're at a party. You might be talking to one person, or a small group of people, but other people can join the conversation. This is basically how social networking sites work. Conversations are more open and public, which can provide a richer social experience than other forms of online communication.

Click the arrows in the slideshow below to learn more about popular social networking sites:

  • Facebook is the world's most popular social networking site
  • Twitter allows you to post short messages that can be seen by anyone or only your followers
  • Pinterest is all about collecting and sharing things you find on the web
  • LinkedIn focuses on career networking
  • Meetup lets you join groups based on your interests and meet in person

You can connect with on social networking sites! Just go to,, or We use these accounts to post updates about our site, along with other relevant information.

Communicating in a social network

Once you've joined a social network, you can start posting your thoughts, questions, pictures, links, videos, or anything else you'd like to share. These are called social posts because they are visible to other people, unlike direct messages or email. Posts will appear on your activity feed, which is visible to your friends on the site.

Social posts are known by many different names, but they are most commonly called status updates. You can use status updates to let your friends know what you're doing or to say what's on your mind. Some social networking sites have unique names for their social posts. For example, on Twitter a post is called a tweet, while a post on Pinterest is known as a pin.

For tips on communicating within social networks, check out our lesson on Social Media Privacy Basics from our Internet Safety tutorial.

Pros and cons of social networking

illustration of someone posting to social media about a sale

Will social posts work for your needs? Review some of the pros and cons to help decide:


  • You can communicate with a lot of people at the same time.
  • It's easy to post your thoughts, pictures, links, and more.
  • It provides a richer social experience than email or instant messaging.
  • You can stay in touch with people who live far away or who you don't see often.


  • If you have friends who use a different social networking site (or don't use any at all), they won't see your social posts.
  • You can accidentally post sensitive information that will be seen by many different people.
  • Things that you post may be permanent, so you have to be careful not to post things that could harm your reputation in the future.
  • Some sites have complex privacy options, which may be a bit confusing to set.

Where to find social posts

There are many websites that include social posting features, including:

If you are interested in using social networking websites, we have tutorials and articles on the following: