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Jumping Into Facebook

En español | Editor’s Note: AARP TEK stands for technology, education, and knowledge. TEK helps people 50-plus who want plain language and user-friendly information on how to best use personal technology. The free program provides comprehensive online and in-person technology tips, trends, tools and hands-on lessons.

My family used to move every two to four years. It was an experience that helped me feel comfortable in strange and new environments. Social media sites can feel very similar: foreign, strange and everyone in there seems to already know what they’re doing and where they need to go.

Facebook for New User

Ian Cunningham

Jen Lee Reeves is AARP's social media trainer

That’s why AARP hired me, to help offer additional training insight so you don’t have to be totally alone when you move into a social media tool.

See also: Step-by-step guide on jumping into Facebook (PDF)

Folks join Facebook for so many reasons. I asked dozens of people of different ages why they joined and how they use it. For most — it does not matter the age — Facebook is a way many connect to old and new friends and family. Often the reason for joining evolves as a person uses the site longer.

My former coworker and friend Amy Lenk joined Facebook right before she retired. She worked for the University of Missouri and knew many of the students and employees at the school were on Facebook. But since then, she has used it for so many other purposes.

“Over the years, I have also started ‘liking’ pages of people/organizations that I admire, which also provides information that is at times helpful to me. And, of course, occasionally I run across a good sale as a result of my friends and pages that I like,” Amy explained.

The best way to allow yourself to evolve in a new community like Facebook is to watch and learn from others. Be sure to connect with people who have Facebook experience so you can step back and just watch how they share posts and comments. Here are my six steps to get you feeling comfortable inside Facebook.

  1. Build out your profile.

  2. Friend people you know and Follow people or places you admire.

  3. Consider creating lists of friends and pages you like based on topics or geographic location.

  4. Take a risk and post something to your Facebook Timeline (in other words, your personal Facebook page).

  5. Share a little something each day.

  6. Have fun! We wouldn’t join a new community if it wasn’t fun!

You can find the full breakdown of what to do once you join Facebook on the AARP TEK social media training page.