Keeping up with family and friends

Are you getting tired of people asking, “Are you on Facebook?” every time you go out? You might as well get used to it!

If you haven’t embraced social networking, such as Facebook, as one of your communication mediums to stay “connected” with family and friends, you may be in the minority. In 2014, Pew Research Center said 87 percent of our adult population use the internet. Of those online adults, 89 percent of ages 18 to 29, 82 percent of ages 30 to 49, 65 percent of ages 50 to 64, and 49 percent of ages 65+ use social networking.

Whichever demographics you are in, one thing to remember is that the internet – or what I regularly call “the mother of disruptive innovation” – has a lot to offer in enriching your life in the real world. Social networking in the digital world, using services such as Facebook, is one of those benefits.

That said, I also see how technology can be confusing and even intimidating to many. The latter can have a paralyzing effect, figuratively of course, where embracing digital world tools becomes out of question; the idiom “deer in the headlights” come to mind. So today we are going to demystify Facebook.

I tell my relatives that they need to understand just three features to start enjoying Facebook: Profile, Newsfeed and Updates. As a bonus I may throw in Timeline for a slam dunk. As always, I use analogies:

  • Your “Profile” is like a very concise life's resume for others on Facebook to see. When your long-lost best friend from high school tries to get in touch with you 50 years later, identifying information, such as high school attended, will help your friend make sure it is you, and not someone else who happens to share your name.

  • You post “Updates” about anything you want to share with your friends. These updates can be text, pictures, videos and links that your friends can click that will open destination websites.

  • Your “Newsfeed” is all of the news about your friends. Your newsfeed shows recent updates that your friends have posted, and vice versa.

  • Your “Timeline” is all of the updates you have posted, collected on a single page. It is useful to your friend who just joined Facebook to catch up on what you have been doing since you joined Facebook years ago.

You read your newsfeed to stay abreast of what your Facebook friends are doing. Your “friends” can also be your grandchildren, so Facebook becomes a way for you to watch them as they grow up, even from thousands of miles away.

There are other tools available through Facebook such as video calling, where you can converse and see each other, thereby negating the need to learn other video calling tools such as Skype and FaceTime.

So what are you waiting for? The wonderful digital world awaits you to enrich your real world!

Tak Sato

Business and technology strategist/consultant with over 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and MBA from Cleveland State University.

As founder of geek with a heart consulting, "Hand-holding You in the Digital World", Tak helps Individuals, Seniors, Families, Small Businesses, Schools, and Non-Profits utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 8:58 AM, 09.15.2015