How Seniors Can Use Facebook

By Ruby Cemental

Keeping up with your in-laws has never been easier thanks to Facebook. Delicious recipes are floating around, just waiting to meet your kitchen. Photos of grandkids don't have to just rest on your mantle anymore. The world, and your beloved family, could rest right at your fingertips. And it only takes a few steps. Here's how seniors can take advantage of Facebook.

How to Create an Account

Facebook is becoming more popular with seniors. If you don't have an account yet, now is the time to make one! Here are some simple steps to walk you through creating your own account.

  1. Create a free profile with Facebook by typing in the information requested. Just a few necessities like your name, email, a secure password, and your birthday. 

  2. Add a photo of yourself or a family photo. You can even add a photo of your dog if you'd like. 

  3. Add some detail about yourself, and then request to add friends to your page.

Once you have friends, family, neighbors, or community pages added to your profile, you can begin to engage with others.

Privacy Settings

One of the reasons people hesitate to open a Facebook account is because they worry about people gaining access to their information. However, the website offers layers of security. At the top of your main page, there is a question mark that offers a drop-down menu when you click on it. Choose Privacy Checkup, and follow the instructions.

You can choose to show your profile and posts to only friends. By making your posts and your profile private, you can feel safer and more secure on the platform.

Creating Your Own Posts

It is simple to post on your own page by typing your sentiments into the "update status" box right next to your photo. You can add links, pictures, or videos to your posts. Your loved ones can comment, like, and share your post. 

Engaging with Others

To post on your loved ones' page or see what they are up to, you can click their name or photo, and begin browsing. At the top of their page, you will see a "Post to __" option. Anything you post there can be viewed by them, and all of their added friends. 

Be sure to keep private messages, private, by only communicating personal information through Facebook Messenger. Messenger also allows voice calls and video chats to help you stay connected. 

Safety Tips

Many seniors are wary of social media platforms. And some of this concern is warranted. However, social media can be a safe place. Follow these safety tips on Facebook to ensure your security and privacy.

  1. Watch out for scammers: Scammers who gain access to someone's Facebook may send messages to their family members claiming they're stranded, have a huge fine to pay, and need help. Seniors should always call other family members to check out the legitimacy of such claims.

  2. Beware of fake friend requests: If you don't recognize the person's name or photo, be suspicious. Review their profile, and see how recently they've updated. Look at the number of friends they have. Send them a message and see if they respond. If not, or if the response makes no sense, don't accept the friend request. 

  3. Don't believe everything you read: While on Facebook, you may see information that other users post that might not be quite right. As with anything you read, be cautious. Because users can post what they'd like, you can't accept everything as truth. 

Despite these safety concerns, Facebook is a wonderful way to stay updated, keep in touch, and have endless hours of story and entertainment. 

Tags: Social Media