Keep in touch with friends and family across the country and around the globe.
Once the hangout of choice for teens and young adults, Facebook is gaining popularity among the 65-and-older crowd. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 41 percent of adults 65+ use the social media platform. That’s about twice the number of users in that age bracket in 2012.
Because of Facebook’s popularity among all age groups, most likely your friends, kids and grandkids have profiles. And because it’s easy to use, Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family both near and far.
Whether you’re a daily user or still figuring it out, here’s how to use Facebook to maintain long-distance relationships.
1. Create a profile. To create a free profile, all you need is an email address. WikiHow has an easy-to-follow guide, with pictures, to help you create your account, set your privacy settings and find friends, classmates and relatives.
2. Like and comment. Once you connect with far-away friends and relatives, you’ll have access to their news feeds. That means when your son posts a photo from his family trip to the Grand Canyon, you can hit the thumbs-up symbol to “like” that photo. You can also leave a few words in the comments section.
When you comment, your son can reply. Suddenly, you have a short conversation you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Word of caution: When you comment, every one of your friends’ friends sees your words. If you see a globe symbol next to the original post, that means anyone on or off Facebook will see your comment.
3. Start a Facebook Group. To keep conversations among family, create a private Facebook group. You control who can join the group and who can share photos and messages. If it’s too overwhelming to set up yourself, ask someone else to serve as administrator.
In a private group, members can make comments and share photos, videos and articles just like they can through personal pages. Your communication doesn’t appear on public news feeds. What’s shared in the group stays in the group.
You and your extended family may not have time to call each other often, but through Facebook, you can communicate daily. This renewed communication may help reignite distant relationships. It will also help you feel like you’re more a part of their lives.
4. Send a message. Some younger adults rarely use email, choosing to communicate mainly by Facebook Messenger. Meet the grandkids where they are by sending them a quick message.
Simply click on the speech bubble in the upper right corner of the Facebook page. From there, select “new message.” Type the person’s name in the “To” field and you’ll see their name and profile picture. Type your note, hit send and you’re done!
If you have a smartphone, you can use Facebook Messenger to chat with your Facebook friends. You’ll need to download the Messenger app. From there, follow the same process.
With social media, you don’t have to wait until the weekend to talk to family far away. Facebook gives you a way to stay connected with people you care about anywhere, anytime.