Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites in our world today. The company, which is now home to almost 2.7 billion users, even grew big enough to purchase Instagram several years ago. With so many of our friends and family members using Facebook, it’s hard to not get involved. But for those of us who aren’t constantly connected to the Internet culture, Facebook can be challenging to navigate. In this guide, we’ll break down the barrier between you and this popular social media site and explain the basics of Facebook for seniors. Soon, you’ll be sharing alongside everyone else you know!
Setting Up an Account
Signing up for an account
Facebook, for seniors, can see complicated at first. But Facebook has a quick and easy sign-up page that asks for your name, birthday, email, and a strong password. Once you’ve filled out these spaces, you’re good to click sign up. Just like that, you have a Facebook account!
Personalizing your account
After you’ve created the account, the next big step is personalization. Facebook has very extensive options for personalizing your account, so you can add as much or as little information as you’d like! First, though, you should pick a profile picture and cover photo for your page.
Because there’s so many users on Facebook, the likelihood of your name being shared by another user is high; using a profile picture helps friends and family find you. Once you navigate to your profile page, choose “Edit Profile,” and you’ll be able to upload both profile and cover pictures.
In the same area, you can pick featured photos to be shown on your page, add some hobbies, and customize your basic ‘About Me’ information. You can include your high school, hometown, work history, relationship status, and more. It’s up to you to add what you want!
As with any other site, it’s important to establish your privacy settings before getting too involved. You can and should change your privacy settings to control your profile’s visibility, what personal information you share, and how you can be found on the site. This can be done in ‘Settings,’ under ‘Privacy.’
You can make everything private on your account for complete safety coverage, but Facebook also has a wide range of security options that allow for flexibility. For example, you can keep your account private, but still let others find you. Make sure to check out all Facebook’s privacy options and select the combination that is best for you.
Pictures and videos
To share a picture or a video, click the plus sign in the upper right corner of your page. This will give you many options, but you want to choose the first one (‘Post’) which will allow you to create a post with a visual element. From here, choose the video or photo you want to share, add any text you’d like, and hit ‘Post.’ This will share it with your friends on their timelines.
Status updates are created in the same way as a picture or video post. A status update is usually short and sweet; just something to share with family and friends about how you’re doing, a life update, or similar content. You can type out what you’re thinking in the space provided, and then hit ‘Post’ once you’re done.
Interacting with Others
Facebook’s feed, personalized for each user, is called its timeline. Your timeline will be comprised of your friends’ posts, posts you’re tagged in, and posts from the Facebook pages of brands and companies that Facebook thinks you may like. Because Facebook customizes its ads to each user, Facebook, for seniors, may suggest convenient products to buy at the store or various online sites with classes for seniors. Regardless, your timeline is great for staying in touch; you can interact with your friends’ posts by dropping a reaction or a like, leaving a comment, or sharing the post.
Friends is a general term on Facebook for anyone that you are “following,” like a family member, a coworker, or a real-life friend. When you join Facebook, you’ll receive friend suggestions based on contacts and data that the site has collected. This is a good place to start; you can also look up individuals through Facebook’s search feature and add them there. When you get friend suggestions, you can send friend requests to make the connection mutual. As you begin to add friends, you’ll receive more personalized friend suggestions, and your number of friends will grow. Who knows - you might even get back in touch with some long-lost friends!
What does it mean to "like?"
The term “like” has become a rather general term on Facebook. It can be used in several ways. First, you can like someone’s post: you select a thumbs up from the reaction, which is just a way of saying you enjoyed their content or what they had to say. Doing that won’t have an impact on your own account.
You can also like a business or company page, and this is a little different. If you like a business account, you’ll automatically follow them and receive updates from their account. These updates will be integrated into your timeline. However, you’ll always have the option to unfollow the account later.
General Safety on Facebook for Seniors
As enjoyable as Facebook can be, remember that it’s still a site on the Internet with associated dangers. Never share too much information on Facebook; this includes information like your current location, your phone number, your bank account information, or other personal data. Be aware of common Facebook scams and always be aware of the potential issues that could arise when using the site.
Facebook is a fantastic way to connect with your loved ones, make new friends, and share your life online! Just remember to stay safe and use Facebook wisely, and you’ll be able to share alongside other Facebook users in no time.