TechKNOW Tomorrow – Fast Food Delivery Apps

Image by Kai Pilger via Unsplash.

As long as COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly, most of us are self-quarantining in order to stay safe for the coming months ahead. But months without stocking up on groceries is unrealistic (if not impossible), and in our consumer-driven world that’s largely dependent on fast food, lasting without it will most certainly be a challenge.

Most fast food restaurants across the country are either temporarily closing or preventing seating arrangements at their locations, meaning drive-throughs are practically the only option for ordering food. But even that puts us at risk of contracting COVID-19 at the checkout window. You might be wondering if there is a safer option.

There is. Fast food delivery apps have been all the rage over the last couple of years. Through an app, you can safely order and pay for your food from the comfort of your own home. Most apps allow numerous options for restaurant and customization choices. So how does it work exactly? Let’s take a look at a few apps that work locally.

SkipTheDishes

Here’s one that’s exclusively Canadian. SkipTheDishes offers a wide variety of restaurants to choose from such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, and City Light. Choose the restaurant that you want to order from, scroll down, and then select the meal. Like most delivery apps, SkipTheDishes gives you additional customization options such as cutlery and condiments.

While the app usually has multiple payment options, users are temporarily restricted to online payments to reduce contact with the outside world. This means that it’s a lot safer than going through a drive-through! Depending on your device, here are the Android and Apple links.

DoorDash

Similar to SkipTheDishes, DoorDash offers a lot of restaurants to choose from when ordering food. The same customization options are available for users, though with a different selection of restaurants. While there are some fast food options like Harvey’s and A&W, DoorDash also features fine dining restaurants such as Montana’s and Swiss Chalet.

If there’s one downside to DoorDash, it’s that they don’t have safety protocols in place for workers or customers… yet. That said, you can leave special instructions within a ‘Notes’ section, which could be used to tell the delivery driver to leave it on your front step after knocking. This should grant you some peace of mind in the coming months. Check out the Android or Apple app if you’re interested.

Image by Engin Akyurt via Pexels.

Instacart

Definitely the “freshest” delivery app on the list (excuse the pun), Instacart is quite new to Newfoundland. So new, in fact, that few have even heard of it. That said, Instacart has recently started offering service in St. John’s and it might not be long before you can start having food delivered. Unlike the fast food options on the list, Instacart is aimed at delivering fresh groceries to your door, which sounds like an excellent idea in a time of crisis like this one.

Instacart allows you to choose from multiple grocery stores and items from the comfort of your home. After you purchase the goods, someone will deliver the items to your doorstep within 24 hours. Unfortunately, some items might be more expensive than they would be in stores, but if safety is a concern, a bit of extra money is a small price to pay (literally). Again, check out the Android or Apple app if this sounds intriguing to you.

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While there are other fast food delivery apps, most of the local ones only offer service for a single restaurant (e.g., Domino’s Pizza – Android and Apple links here). Beware of using these apps as they may not have safety policies in place for you or their workers. Always be sure to do your research before ordering food from anywhere. We hope this was helpful!

At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message.

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.

TechKNOW Tomorrow – How to Spot Fake News

Image by Connor Danylenko via Pexels.

COVID-19 is officially a pandemic. The “fake news” that’s already been circulating about it has been dubbed an infodemic.

You’ve likely heard the phrase “fake news” multiple times if you’ve ever heard Donald Trump spew random sentences vehemently. But what is it exactly? As defined by the New York Times, “fake news” is any false article that’s “deliberately fabricated to deceive readers, generally with the goal of profiting through clickbait. Clickbait is content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page” (2016).

To add, these fake articles tend to be disseminated, swiftly circulating across social media platforms like wildfires with their eye-catching headlines and oddly punctuated messages. People see these articles and are encouraged to share them without even analyzing the message or the sources behind the message.

Okay, so how do we determine if a source is “fake news” or actually true, then? tKt’s advice is to follow this chart explicitly.

Image by IFLA via Wikimedia Commons.

If the source of an article is your online friend or a politician’s tweet, then you should definitely question the source immediately. If you can identify several spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, or text in ALL CAPS, then the article in question is likely clickbait. Additionally, it may help to follow the guidelines in this article if you’re uncertain about a story’s source.

Sometimes an article might look like it’s from a legit source, but it’s not at all. After all, if a scamming website can be set up to look like your bank’s secure site, who’s to say that “fake news” can’t masquerade as a legitimate news source such as CBC or The Globe and Mail? Remember to analyze everything with scrutiny and follow your gut if something doesn’t feel right.

As an example, where should you go for legitimate news on updates to the COVID-19 pandemic? Trusted sources like CBC and The Globe and Mail would be great places to start, as would official government channels like Health and Community Services NL and gov.nl. This way, you can avoid similar-looking websites that are out to deceive you and suspicious links that friends might send to you.

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Luckily, techKNOWtutors doesn’t spread fake news; we just share internet and technology facts. Although most services have closed, techKNOWtutors remains open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with connecting to loved ones or even setting up an account with a service like Skype, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message!

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.

TechKNOW Tomorrow – COVID-19 Tips and Updates

It’s a stressful time for us all. As the coronavirus spreads, non-essential services across Canada are shutting down and people are left in a state of pandemonium. Most of us are doing our best to maintain distance from the rest of the people in our lives. But as we physically isolate ourselves from the world, it’s vital that we remain connected to each other digitally. How exactly do we do that? By following the tips outlined in this article, of course!

COVID-19 Tips

  1. Make sure you stock up on any essentials. Newfoundland and Labrador may call a state of emergency in the near future. It’s best to pick up whatever you need from grocery stores as soon as possible. This includes food, water, prescription drugs, soaps, animal food, kitty litter, etc.
  2. Be aware of the people around you. If you have elderly neighbours or sick loved ones who are unable to pick up food, offer to lend a hand. See a nearly empty shelf of red meat? Save some for other people who need it.
  3. Self-isolate yourself physically. This means remaining indoors for the majority of the pandemic. Only leave your home if it is absolutely necessary. The same goes for family.
  4. Wash your hands relatively frequently. This is more effective than using hand sanitizer, though you can’t go wrong with either. See this post from the CDC for more details.
  5. Keep in touch with friends and family online. It’s important to speak to friends and family digitally if you can’t be near them. Call or text them regularly. Make video calls through Facetime or Skype. Send messages, pictures, or tweets on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Humans are social beings by nature; it’s how we connect that has to change.
  6. Don’t rely on social media for your facts and updates. Did a friend of yours post a home remedy for coronavirus? Did they post that the travel ban has been lifted? It’s likely not substantiated by any evidence. Use trusted online resources such as the federal government’s website and news channels such as CBC to discover the truth about COVID-19.
  7. Check online resources on COVID-19 daily. Canada has numerous resources for keeping yourself up to date on the status of the virus in Canada. Here are some websites you should visit daily:
    A) The Government of Canada’s official COVID-19 web page.
    B) COVID-19 Symptoms and Treatment.
    C) Non-essential travel ban updates.
    D) Numerous resources from Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC).
    E) IPAC’s Facebook page.
    F) IPAC’s Twitter Page.
Image by Stefen Tan via Unsplash.

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Follow these tips and you should hopefully minimize the risk involved with this pandemic. Although most services have closed, techKNOWtutors remains open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with connecting to loved ones or even setting up an account with a service like Skype, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message!

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.