A-Z of the Internet for Old People

Fed up of explaining "the face book" to your Grandparents? Then send this handy little guide to them instead!

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

The internet is a difficult thing to get your head around if you've barely managed to get used to working a DVD player. Here's an A-Z list of some of the most important facets of the World Wide Web that OAP beginners should know:


A is for… Anonymous: A group of individuals who use the veil of anonymity that the internet provides them to fight for justice (and to send each other images of cartoon asian girls being molested by tentacles).

B is for… Blog: Kind of like a diary except you can lose your job if you write anything negative about your employers.

C is for… Cloud: Imagine if, instead of having to keep all of your memories floating about in that brain of yours, you could instead store them in the sky, thus giving you more room to remember more important things such as where you left your slippers and whether or not you've already taken your medication.

D is for… Download: Like going to a supermarket and putting a carton of milk into your shopping basket, only the milk, the basket and the supermarket are all invisible.

E is for… eBay: Where you can buy a jazzy cover for your iPhone for a very reasonable price and a jar of toenail clippings for a very unreasonable price.

F is for Facebook: Like having a phone conversation with hundreds of people at the same time – none of whom are really paying much attention to you.

G is for… Gaming: Remember that game your children used to play with each other in the 70s on the television called Pong? Yeah, well now your grandchildren are online shooting each other in the face with guns.

H is for… Hashtag: Used primarily on Twitter (we'll get to that later), the hashtag (a word prefixed with a '#' sign) is used to mark topics and keywords you feel would be of interest to others, such as #itsabitchillyoutsidetodayibestputonajumper, and #iwonderwhenmychildrenaregoingtovisitmeagain?

I is for… IM: An acronym for Instant Messaging, which allows you to conversate with people online via a series of text-based messages. Kind of like a phone conversation except you don't have to listen to anyone.

J is for… Junk Mail: Another term for all those emails you've been receiving from a Nigerian Prince claiming that he's going to send you some money.

K is for… Kilobyte: Because even your computer needs something to help it remember things.

L is for… Like: A button you can press on Facebook that allows you to interact with your friends without actually having to conversate with them.

M is for… Meme: An image or video that is gains popularity until it goes viral (more on that later). Usually involves cats in unusual situations.

N is for… n00b: Someone new to the internet, i.e. you.

O is for… Online/Offline: If you are accessing the internet you are online, if you are not accessing the internet you are offline. Simple.

P is for… Pirating: Pirates these days don't wear eye patches and drink rum – they instead download Madonna's new album illegally (well, you wouldn't exactly want to spend money on it, would you?). 

Q is for… QWERTY: Another term for the standard keyboard that most people have – y'know, that thing in front of you that looks like a typewriter after a hardcore dieting session.

R is for… Retweet: You retweet a tweet on Twitter left by another Tweeter that you think other Tweeters would want to read. And you thought this guide was going to be complicated…

S is for… Search Engine: Google, Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves (is that still a thing..?) – all can be used to easily and quickly navigate the internet via a series of keywords.  

T is for… Twitter: Like Facebook except you only have 140 characters to write what you want, so unfortunately you won't be able to have any long-winded rants about the weather/illegal immigrants.

U is for… Upload: Like putting that invisible milk back on to the invisible shelf for somebody else to come and pick up.

V is for… Viral: Not viral as in like that thing Grandad contracted in the 60s, but viral as in extremely popular, thus spreading quickly from user to user via the internet.

W is for… Wi-Fi: It's the internet… without PLUGS.

X is for… XD: An 'emoticon', or a series of characters that are supposed to represent an image. In this instance, the 'X' is supposed to represent a pair of eyes and the 'D' a smiling mouth. Other examples include :P, :), :(, <3 and 8==D (probably best not to show Grandma that last one).

Y is for… YouTube: A video sharing website that allows users to upload videos of things to a worldwide audience. Videos may contain cats.

Z is for… ZOMG: An acronym used by internet users to represent shock/surprise. The acronym itself stands for 'Oh My God' (the 'Z' is silent'). Other acronyms include OMFG (think about it), LOL (Laugh Out Loud), ROFL (Rolling On the Floor Laughing) and ROFLCOPTER (Rolling On the Floor Laughing with a Helicopter..? We're not really sure about this one…).

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