The internet has opened up a whole new form of communication that people wouldn’t have even dreamed about a few years ago; so it’s not too surprising that a growing number of them are asking for advice on how to use Facebook. While many of these people are after more advanced information, such as ‘how to use Facebook to make money’, there are just as many who have only clicked on to the site for the first time, and are after advice on what to do next, so here it is.
The first thing to note is that it’s free to join, which, when you think about it makes sense, right? After all, how would you get so many teens on there if there was money to be paid?
How to use Facebook step 1: Decide what you want to join Facebook to do.
If you’re solely on there to meet up with friends, family, and keep an eye on what the kids are getting up to, then there’s no real reason why you couldn’t sign up as ‘yourself’.
If you want to go on to meet people who may have a specific interest, and you’re not too comfortable about giving out your information, then you may want to come up with a persona that will be in keeping with that interest i.e. if you’re on there to meet and talk about the virtues of having a good strong coffee to start the day, then tailor your profile to that interest.
What you decide has some impact on the steps below.
How to use Facebook step 2: Getting signed up.
If you don’t want to give out your personal email address, which may be a wise choice, then you could set up an email address with Google, again this is free to do, and all of the sign-up information will be sent to that account. You will need access to the email account as you’ll have to verify the sign-up details.
If you’re happy enough to give out details about your real date of birth, then do so, if not, pick a day, month, and year that will make you old enough to at least open a Facebook account; making yourself 21 may be a bit obvious.
How to use Facebook step 3: The CAPTCHA.
This is a little system that many sites have been putting in place to make sure that you’re actually a human; odd as that may sound.
There are a lot of people who use Facebook for business, and to help themselves they may create a number of accounts, this, on some sites can be done with bots (small software programs) that create the accounts for them. To try and stop these accounts being created, small programs like CAPTCHA have been used, though not as successfully as the site owners might have hoped.
How to use Facebook step 4: Check your email.
This is where actually having access to the email account that you said was yours is important. You’ll be sent a welcome email, and an email that has a link to click to complete the sign-up process; click the link to confirm that you received the email at the email address you gave them.
How to use Facebook step 5: Find friends, profile information, and profile picture.
On the screen you’ll see a section where you can add friends that you may already have on your email list, if you don’t want to do that, because you’re not really ‘being you’, then you can skip this screen.
On the next page you’ll be given some more boxes that you can complete; they are Secondary School, University, and Employer. As you start typing the name in it may come up automatically – that means there must be other people on Facebook that went to these places, at one time or another. If you don’t want to fill in these details, just skip it.
Next you can add a picture to go with your profile, or just skip that, too, if you’d rather not add one at the moment.
How to use Facebook step 6: Final ‘house work’.
Next you’ll be taken to the ‘Welcome’ screen. On this screen you’ll be able to change many of the details you’ve already entered, add more information, or complete the sign-up if you haven’t done so already.
When completing your profile, if it isn’t one that’s specifically about you, and aimed at friends and family, then you should make the profile about the persona mentioned earlier; don’t give out too much ‘real’ information, and stick with things that will attract people from that targeted group.
How to use Facebook step 7: The fun stuff.
Now you can personalise your profile, search for friends, join groups, add apps, or any of that fun stuff that’s going to keep you up half the night; now that you’ve become addicted to Facebook.
Of course, you should remember that, as with any online community you join, you have to be careful about who you invite to join as a friend, the private information that you share online, and setting up the security.
Now you know how to use Facebook, or at least how to get started using it, and your life will never be the same again, sleep will become a thing of the past for you; but at least you can spy on the kids in comfort.