Beginner’s Guide to Facebook

There are many facets to Facebook which are fun, social and actually somewhat addictive. It is a very entertaining way to keep in contact with friends and family, and with this simple guide, YourLifeChoices will show you how.

The creators of Facebook have spawned a language of their own. In order for you to understand most of this guide, you will first need to understand the online lingo.

Profile – Your profile is your homepage. It is made up of all your information, your profile picture, and of course your timeline. It is basically a mini webpage which you control.
Timeline
 – The timeline is the area on your profile page where your status updates are posted and friends’ messages appear. Depending on your security settings, anything you post on your status or a friend’s timeline can be seen by your entire network of friends. 
Status Update – A personal message from you, posted on your own profile.
Comment – When a friend posts a status or posts on your timeline, you can simply comment directly on their action by clicking a button and typing your text in the drop down box below.
Like – When someone comments, or posts on your timeline, or uploads a funny picture, Facebook gives you the option of ‘liking’ their action with the simple press of a button.
Post – A public message which you post on your friends’ timeline to start a conversation. 
News Feed – ‘Pictures’, ‘Status Updates’, ‘Posts’ and ‘Videos’ which are posted by you or your friends appear in the News Feed, to ensure that you are kept informed of the current goings on of all your Facebook friends. 
Message Inbox – You also have an inbox, a somewhat reduced version of an email inbox whereby you can communicate with your Facebook friends away from the prying eyes of the larger Facebook community.
Private Message – You create private messages in your Message inbox. These can be between two people, or you can create ‘threads’ of many people having private discussions. 
Tagging – When uploading pictures on the site, a huge part of Facebook is ‘tagging’ yourself in the picture, so the picture is then connected to your profile. 
Poke – Somewhat of a silly part of Facebook, you can ‘poke’ a friend, which sends them an online greeting. Has been the subject of online derision, and creator Mark Zuckerberg has slowly tried to phase out the action.

Click ‘Next’ for a step-by-step walk through of signing up to Facebook

Creating an account
Go to the Facebook website. Fill out the ‘Sign Up’ form on the right hand side, then click the green ‘Sign Up’ button.

Once you have clicked the ‘Sign Up’ button you will be asked for a security code. This is to verify that you are a real person, and not a robot. Just enter the words shown in the picture, separated by a space. If they are too difficult to read, you can ask for new words.

Having verified your humanity you will be taken through the setup procedure. Step one involves finding your friends via your email address. If you want to add the people in your email address book as friends on Facebook enter your email address and click ‘Find Friends’. If you would rather find them yourself later (possibly the safer option), click ‘Skip This Step’.

Step two involves entering some of your personal information. This is so that Facebook can suggest people you might know, and so if there are two people with the same name your friends will know which one is you (unless you both went to the same university). We have entered Rupert’s university and employer here, to make him easier to find. Once you have finished click the ‘Save and Continue’ button. If you do put in information Facebook will immediately suggest some people you might know. You can either click the ‘Add Friend’ button below their name if you do know the person, or just hit ‘Save and Continue’ again. If you don’t want to enter any information, just click ‘Skip This Step’.

Step three involves selecting interests. It is recommended you click the ‘Skip’ button on this page also.

Next Facebook will ask you to add a profile picture. Again, this is so your friends can find you. I chose to ‘Upload a Photo’, because my computer doesn’t have a webcam. To do this click ‘Upload a Photo’.

Then click ‘Choose a File’, and find the image you want to use in your computer. Rupert loves the Pixar film Up!, so he has decided to use a picture of the character Carl Fredricksen instead of his own photo.

Once you have chosen your photo, click ok, then click ‘Save and Continue’.

Now that you have finished creating an account Facebook will send you an email to verify that your email address is correct. To finish the sign-up process log into your email account, open the email from Facebook, and click on the link in the email. Congratulations! You are now a member of the largest social networking site in the world.

Click ‘Next’ for handy hints on Getting Started on Facebook

Getting Started
Before getting too bogged down with technical jargon, a profile is essentially your very own ‘page’ or mini-website on Facebook. You can list details about yourself, post pictures, talk with friends and generally do what you please; it belongs to you. This is where you will spend the majority of your time on Facebook. 

Before we start to add items to your profile, we need to give you the biggest time saving hint you will learn when using Facebook. In the top left hand corner of every page on Facebook is the ‘Facebook’ logo. No matter what page you are on, if you click this logo, you will be taken back to your profile page.

Time to get started! Facebook will once again prompt you to search your email account for friends and family to add to your profile. If you are still not interested in doing this or already did this when setting up your account, ignore it.

The next step Facebook wants you to action is to ‘Fill out your profile information’ which is a very crucial step when it comes to personalising your Facebook page. Click the ‘Edit Profile’ button.

You are now presented with an editing screen, where you can customise a number of options (such as Basic Information, Philosophy, Activities and Interests) to let the world know a little bit about you. The edit screen has a navigation menu on the left hand side (shown below), and when you want to change some information, simply click the topic you wish to edit. Before switching between editing screens, ensure you scroll down to the bottom of the page and click ‘Save Changes’, otherwise you will lose any information you type.

Now that you have personalised your profile it is time to add those new friends, family members and work colleagues whose email addresses you didn’t have in your email account or if you chose to skip that process. If you are still on the ‘Your Profile’ screen, click the ‘Facebook’ button to take you back to your profile. Then head to the search bar, type in your friend’s name and choose your friend from the list that drops down. If you don’t see them you can also click the ‘See More Results’ button. Once you find your friend, click ‘Add Friend’ to connect with them. You will have to wait for them to accept your request before you can start interacting.


Security Settings

The most important step of all is your security settings. You should be concerned about your Facebook privacy levels, because anyone who finds their way to your Facebook page can see what you are writing, who your friends are and even your personal information if you have not updated your privacy status. To prevent this happening, we will walk you through the process.

There is a cog symbol in the top right hand corner of your profile screen. If you click it you will see several options – click ‘Privacy Settings’.

Under the heading ‘Who can see my stuff’ click ‘Edit’ and change this setting from ‘Public’ to ‘Friends’. Now click ‘Close’.

Now that your profile has begun to take shape and your friend requests have begun to roll in, you are ready to actually begin using Facebook.

Click ‘Next’ for an introduction to using Facebook, sending private messages and playing games



How to use Facebook
Now that you are well versed in ‘Facebookspeak’ and have created your profile, we can begin to use the many and varied features which make Facebook such a fun online destination.

Status Updates
One of the more important elements of Facebook is of course your very own status updates. To post a status, simply visit your timeline which is accessable from any page by clicking the Facebook symbol in the top left-hand corner of the screen. Type your thoughts and musings into the ‘Update Status’ box and press the ‘Post’ button. Just like that you have completed a Facebook rite of passage. You can also share videos, website links and pictures as a status.

When the status is posted, you and your friends have the opportunity to comment on, or like, the status.

Commenting on a status starts a drop-down box underneath whereby people can communicate with each other, and ‘like’ each other’s posts. This is very easy to do, and has become the preferred way of communicating for Facebook users.

However, should you wish to post on a friend’s timeline, the easiest way is by using Facebook’s ‘search feature’ located at the very top centre of the page. Simply begin to type in the name of your friend, and Facebook will bring up a list of names. Find your friend, and click on the link to their page. From there, it is exactly like posting a status, except on another friend’s timeline. 

Private Messages
One of the best, and easiest, features of Facebook is the private message. You will find the message function in the left hand navigation tab.

To start a new message, click the ‘New Message’ button.

The interface is very simple and easy to use. When you have typed your message invite the Facebook friends you wish to view the message.

Not only do you have a conversation going, but you also have complete privacy. Just remember, if you reply to a group private message everyone that it has been sent to will be able to see your reply.

Click ‘Next’ to find out how to have fun on Facebook

Fun on Facebook
One of the major drawcards of Facebook and one which the website has improved dramatically since its inception is the ‘Photos’ feature. Everyone likes looking at photos of friends and family, but when friends can see up-to-the-minute photos of your latest holiday, before you have even arrived home, then the magic of Facebook truly begins to reveal itself. 

Uploading a photo album is, like most things on the site, very simple. From your Timeline, click on ‘Photos’ located in the menu on the left-hand-side of the page. Click on the ‘Create Album’ button and you are on your way. Select the photo or photos you wish to upload to this new album and then follow the process which allows your to name the album and photos before they go live on your feed.

Hopefully this guide has given you a helping hand to experience the vast and incredible world of Facebook. Remember, there is always something more to be explored, so keep it up. And while you’re online, join our Facebook Page and participate in a thriving online community!

 

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