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How to use Facebook

Don’t let the kids have all the fun! Besides, Facebook might be the best way for you to keep in touch with your kids, nieces, nephews, or even grandchildren or great-grandchildren! (Yes, my grandfather has a Facebook page.) I’ve enjoyed being able to catch up with everyone from international friends to the women who were in my childhood Brownie troop via Facebook.

How to Join Facebook

  • Open your internet browser. You’re probably using either AOL, Internet Explorer or Firefox.
  • Go to
  • Enter your information into the “Sign up for Facebook” box.
    NOTE: You’ll need to enter your birthday, so that Facebook knows you’re over 13. (haha!) However, if you wish, you don’t have to show your birthday in your profile. You can change that by going to Profile > Info > Edit Information. You can choose not to show your birthday, to show just the month and the day, or to show the whole birthday. I’d recommend at least showing the month and the day, so that people can have fun wishing you a happy birthday.
  • Look for a confirmation email.
  • Click on the link to get back to Facebook.

What you’ll see on Facebook

  • Once you’ve logged on, you’ll see a page that has your News Feed on it. That shows what your friends are up to.
  • If you click on “Profile” at the top of the page, you’ll see YOUR profile page. Once you fill in more information, it will show your friends what you’re up to.
  • If you click on “Info” on your Profile page, and then click the “Edit Information” button at the top of the screen, you can add things to your profile or change what’s already there.
  • Besides personal information, you can add pictures and videos, and join groups you’re interested in (e.g., La Canada Flintridge Parents”) or add applications that you like. (e.g., quotes from “The Office.”)

Finding Friends

  • When you join Facebook, it’ll ask if you wish to have it search your email address book for people who are already on Facebook. This is a great way to find friends.
  • Once you have a friend, you can click on their name and see their profile page. Once you’re there, you can see who they’re friends with. If you want to be their friend, click on Request Friend to the right of their name.
  • If you entered your high school or college graduation year, you can click on your school name on your profile and find other people that went to your school at the same time.
  • You can also search for someone by name in the box on the upper lefthand side of the screen.

How to agree to be friends with someone who wants to be your friend:

  • Click on “home” at the top of the page or “Facebook” in the upper left hand corner to get back to your News Feed.
  • On the right side, there should be a box that says if you have friend requests. (or other requests)
  • If there’s something listed, click on it.
  • Accept them as friends.
  • Now you’ll be able to see what they’re up to!

How to communicate with friends:

  • Send a Message:
    When you click on a friend’s name, you’ll see their profile. Under their picture, you’ll see something that says “Send a Message.” If you click on that, you can send that person a private message. It’s a great way for keeping in touch with people. When you send them a message, they’ll also get an email telling them they have a message. If you have a message, it’ll show up in your Inbox at the top of the page.
  • The Wall:
    When you’re at a friend’s page, you can see their Wall. You can write something in the blank box at the top of the Wall, and then click on “Post.” Your message will then show up on their Wall, and all their friends will be able to see it.

How to add your picture to your profile

You may be hesitant to add your picture. That’s understandable. Even so, I recommend that you do. If you set your privacy settings the right way, no one will see a big picture of you unless they’re your friend. Also, you’d be surprised at how many people there are out there with your name, and you want your friends to be able to find you. Last, but not least, profiles with a “?” for the picture look pathetic.

  • Click on the “Profile” button at the top of the screen.
  • Mouse over where your picture should be. Click on “Change Picture.”
  • Click on Browse, and find the picture on your computer
  • Check the box that says you have permission to use this picture. (of course you do!!)
  • Click on Upload Picture.
  • Click on Save Changes at the bottom.
  • Click on “Profile” at the top of the page to see your great picture!!!!

Other important things to do:

  • Set your Privacy settings. You can do that by clicking on Settings: Privacy Settings in the upper right corner of the screen. I recommend that you set everything to Only Friends, so that only your friends can see your page. Click here for clear, detailed instructions for setting your Privacy Settings.
  • Set your Notification settings. You can decide when Facebook should email you to let you know that someone’s posted a picture of you, written a message on your wall, invited you to be a friend, etc. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss something without having to log on all the time. I set mine to have Facebook notify me of everything.
  • Logout when you’re done, unless you’re on your own computer.
  • Be your child’s friend, but don’t stalk him or her. You have your own vivid life to lead, and don’t need to gain meaning by living vicariously through your kids. Even so, you’ll probably find that Facebook enhances your relationship with your child.

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