Facebook: Connect with Friends and Family for Free

Save a stamp, write a Facebook Status! Save a card, send a Facebook Message! Save money from developing pictures, upload Facebook Photos! OR write no Status, send no message, upload no pictures and just read what your friends and family are doing and look at everyone else’s pictures on Facebook! Facebook is a wonderful place to read and watch what is going in your family and friend’s lives. You can choose to interact or just read. You can be as busy as a bee or as slow as a sloth, because it does not matter on Facebook. And the best part of all is that Facebook is Free!

Have you ever looked over someone’s shoulder and watched as they interacted on Facebook? Or do you have friends or family members encouraging you to “get on Facebook”? If you are thinking about Facebook, you may not know that you can have a Facebook account and just read and watch what your friends and family are doing. You don’t have to write a Status every day, hour or minute, you certainly don’t have to send anyone a message or upload any pictures. However, it is nice to have a profile picture of yourself so others will know that it is really you instead of that other Sue Bee in Albuquerque. So don’t be intimidated, jump right on in and fill out the short form to create a new account on Facebook but first here are a few items to think about:

  1. Make a list of no more than 20 people that you know and who know you that are already members of Facebook. These will be the first people you contact or send Friend Requests to after you have created your account. Under 20 people is recommended because over 20 people can be overwhelming when you are trying to read everyone’s status, so a smaller number of friends is easier to manage at first. After you become familiar with Facebook you can increase your friends by sending out more Friend Requests.
  2. Watch someone navigate around on Facebook so that it will not be brand new once you create your account.
  3. If you are the studious type, invest in a book, Amazon sells a Facebook and Twitter book for Dummies. Books are very handy to have especially after you have created a new account and have questions.
  4. If you are a visual learner, then fire up Youtube (www.youtube.com) and search for Facebook tutorials, but note the dates of the tutorials and make sure you watch the most current, since Facebook changes periodically.
  5. You must have an email address to create a Facebook account. You will use your email address along with a new password to sign into Facebook. You probably already have an email address with your internet carrier, but if not you can get a new email address for free. GMAIL, Yahoo, and Hotmail are just a few of the many free email services. Click our link for help with a new Gmail account: http://helpingbee.com/the-internet/email/gmail-how-to-create-an-email-account/

Signing up is a breeze, since you just answer a few questions, such as your real name (if you are not comfortable using your real name, Facebook is not for you, sorry). The whole point of Facebook is to connect with your friends and you can’t connect if you don’t use your real name. Facebook requires that you be at least 13 years of age, yes, this means your grandchildren are already on Facebook! If you are a woman and have been married, it is best to use your First Maiden Last name. This way friends from High School can find you on Facebook. Make sure you enter a new password and don’t use your email password, think of a password for only Facebook. After you have entered all the information just click the signup button.

Facebook makes it easy to search for Friends. You can find friends by their email address, by their High School and Facebook can even upload your contact book from your email account and tell you which friends are on Facebook. You just decide which people you want to send a Friend Request to and then it is us to them to accept your request.

It is not a good practice to accept all friend requests. For instance, if you don’t know or remember the person sending the friend request, don’t accept it. I have defined a line between friends and acquaintances. From my friends I will accept requests, but from my acquaintances I will ignore the request. Although I have ignored many requests, I have never run into anyone at the grocery inquiring as to why I have not accepted their friend request.

Another point to remember is when logging back into Facebook, don’t click the box to allow Facebook to keep you signed in. This is just not a good practice because you are eventually going to have to leave your computer and if you have checked the box to keep you signed in, then anyone else using the computer has access to your Facebook account.

If you find that you are still overwhelmed by Facebook, look to the library or other facilities that might offer Facebook classes. Many Senior Centers offer classes for free or at a discount.

I remember when I was “goaded” into getting on Facebook, I really did not want to spend the time or quite frankly the effort. However, I am certainly glad that I did! Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with High School friends, many of whom I never would have chatted with until the next High School reunion. Facebook has been a wonderful tool for uploading and sharing pictures of my husband, children, grandchildren, weddings, vacations and birthdays.

So what are you missing by not “getting on Facebook?”