Welcome to Lesson 3 of Technology 101 for Seniors! Today, we’ll focus on how to set up and start to use a Facebook account.
Believe it or not, there are over 1 billion Facebook users around the world! That’s about 3 times the U.S. population, all signing on to one single website. One of the fastest growing groups using Facebook are seniors, so chances are many of your friends and family members are already using the site to share photos, updates, and more. Want to get in on the fun? Here’s a step-by-step tutorial to help you get started!
How to set up your account.
Setting up an account is easy. First, open up your web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox are examples) and type “Facebook.com” into the address bar at the top.
When you arrive, you’ll see a screen similar to the one pictured here. Under the words “Sign Up”, you’ll enter your first and last name, email address (or mobile number) and create a password. Then you’ll use the pull down menu to enter your birthday, then check male or female, and click the green “Sign up” button. Don’t worry, your information won’t be public right away, and we’ll show you how to make sure you only share what you want to share.
For your password, pick something that is easy to remember, but hard for someone else to figure out. Perhaps your first pet’s name combined with a previous address number, or a grandchild’s birthday combined with your cousin’s zip code. Once you decide on something, write it down and keep it in a safe place.
Next, you’ll be taken to the first Getting Started page. This page will ask if any of your friends are already on Facebook. By clicking “find friends,” Facebook will search your email address and see who you might already know who is on Facebook. If you’re concerned about your privacy, or would rather just find friends on your own, click “skip this step” in the bottom right hand corner.
The next page will ask for your profile picture. If you have one already on your computer, click “add picture” and upload the one you’d like to use. Or, you can click “take a photo” and use your webcam to take a photo of yourself. This can be tricky, so you can click “skip” and get help from a child, grandchild, or friend.
Welcome to Facebook
Now you’re ready to really have some fun. At the top of the page, Facebook will ask you to confirm your email address. Click “confirm now” and you’ll be asked to enter a code. Visit your email inbox, retrieve the code and enter it on Facebook. This is in place to make sure you are “you.”
You’ll see a button to “Take a Privacy Tour.” We suggest you take this virtual tour before you get started having some fun (which, trust us, is coming soon!). This will take you through every option for who can see your page and what they can see. You may want your page open to everyone, or just friends, or friends and their friends too.
Our advice: start out with the most stringent privacy settings. You can always change as you go along, but think about it this way: if you post a photo of your grandchild, do you want the whole world to see it, or just people you know and trust?
Find Friends, Have Fun!
Now it’s time to start having some fun! In the search bar at the top of the page, you can type in friends’ names to start finding people you know. Start with easy ones, like your siblings, children, and grandchildren. When you find them, click “send friend request” and they’ll get a note that you’re on Facebook and you want to be their friend.
When they accept, you’ll be able to interact with that person no matter where they’re located. Plus, you’ll start to see “people you may know” suggested by Facebook based on your current friends. Who knows, maybe you’ll find an old school or camp friend you haven’t thought about in years!
In an upcoming lesson, we’ll share more about how to use Facebook, including sending messages, sharing photos, articles, videos, how to stay away from spammers, and more!
Plus, there are more lessons on the way. Is there something you’d like to learn about in “Technology 101 for Seniors”? Let us know by clicking here. We’d love to help you learn how to be a tech-savvy senior!