My mom, who never so much as logged onto the internet, spent a lot of time trying to convince me I shouldn’t go online either. She knew my identity was about to be stolen, my house was going to be broken into while I was away and someday I was going to be fired for job for a casual remark. She knew, because she read it in the newspaper.
Do you need to use caution when you’re on social media? Of course! Are you being too cautious if you just forego the whole thing? Absolutely! Where do you start? Well, in my opinion Facebook is the easiest place for beginners and if you’re a baby boomer like me, that’s probably where you’re going to find most of the people you know.
How to Do It
Just go to Facebook and follow the instructions. If you’re not sure what I mean by that, get your grandchild to help.
Then just follow your nose. Yes, it’s alright to tell them your birth date this one time, but my cousin gave them a false one and nothing untoward has happened to her. After this one time, never give your birth date again, because if you fill it in anywhere else, you really don’t know where it will end up.
The site will ask you all the important questions, including who you want to be able to see your stuff. Just answer the questions and fill in the blanks. It will even lead you through the process of finding people you know.
Now Hear This
Facebook is a marketing tool. It will ask questions to find out absolutely everything about you. The trick is to tell it enough for your real friends to find you and not enough for identity thieves to become you. If most people already know it, then it’s probably safe to put on Facebook. If it’s something you aren’t willing for every human being alive to find out, then don’t.
Start Small, Go Big
At some point Facebook will congratulate you because you’ve set up your page and connected with your potential friends. Start by liking people’s comments or making a few of your own. Take baby steps and read any warnings that come up on the screen. Only “friend” people you actually know. You’ll soon be comfortably clicking your way around and you’ll be fine. I promise.