You are now entering your digital future...
Irish Independent Technology Editor Adrian Weckler will guide you over the coming months
NEED a digital DIY course? If you're among the one in six Irish people who has never used the internet, it's worth considering.
Because life is getting a lot trickier without basic digital skills. All sorts of everyday activities are now dependent on them, from regular communication to shopping and paying your taxes. Digital services are now part of the day-to-day fabric of ordinary Irish people's personal and working lives. Friends, family, work peers, utility companies, government bodies: all expect us now to be somewhat conversant in digital life.
But not everyone has kept up with Ireland's transition to online action. And even among those of us who do engage with technology, many feel besieged by constant changes, technologies and new services.
It's no longer just Facebook or iTunes that everyone talks about: it's Snapchat, Netflix and Spotify. It's Android and iOS and Chrome. It's megapixels, megabytes and megabits. Society now expects us to know a little of all these things to get by in modern life. In an age where Facebook and Google have become the everyday utilities that govern our lives, being clueless is an uncomfortable luxury.
But how many digital services can you use comfortably? Can you pay for things you need to without trouble? Can you respond to messages or invitations you receive without getting help? And do you feel completely at ease when someone asks you send them something "over Dropbox"?
If not, do you ever wish you could get some jargon-free advice on the required basics to do all of these things? Would you like to feel more comfortable using everyday utilities such as Facebook messaging, digital photos or 'streaming' music and films?
Over the following months, the Irish Independent will explain, in plain English, what the most used digital services and gadgets do and how they work. We won't assume you know much about any of these things, although those who do have a basic level of knowledge will also learn a few handy tips along the way.
We'll take you through the most essential social media services and explain what they're best used for and how to steer a safe, productive passage through them. We'll show you, in an idiot-proof way, how to use the latest 'social messaging' services to connect with family members and friends.
We'll look at how to finally make sense of using your digital photos, where to store them and how to share them with people you trust.
We'll guide you through the best of today's so-called 'streaming' services, including things like Spotify, Netflix and Apple Music.
And we'll explain lots more along the way, from money-saving 'smart home' utility gadgets to broadband to travel tech to staying safe.
So whether you're keen to become more digitally literate or are finally dragging yourself to the tech table, this is the place to get essential information.