Facebook – The Basics

Learning for Life Online tool #2:
The Learning for Life Online Facebook page

Ah, Facebook. It seems like everyone is Facebookin’ these days, from the high schooler across the aisle to your mother (it’s the only way to keep track of everyone any more, right?). But what is it, really, and how is it useful to you?

What Is It?

Facebook is a social network – a place where people go to stay connected to friends, family, coworkers and aquaintances online. To create an account on Facebook, go to the main page and fill in the information under the words Sign Up. You will need an email address before you begin; you can quickly set up a free account with GMail or Yahoo!Mail if you don’t have an address yet.

How Is It Useful?

If your family and friends are already on Facebook, then it’s another place to tell them what you’re up to. You can easily share updates, videos, neat web sites, or photos. It’s a great way to invite people to events, and you can use the chat and message features to talk a little more directly to individuals.

People are using Facebook to reconnect with old school friends and past coworkers. They’re also “liking” their favorite places, musicians, famous people & TV shows to get the latest news.

Facebook (or any social network) is no substitute for getting to know people in person, but it can help to keep folks connected even when they’re far apart.

Try It Out

If you don’t want to create a Facebook account right now, you can still see what it looks like. Check out the Boston Public Library Facebook page or the Learning for Life Online page and click around to see what’s there.

If you do want to jump right in, go to Facebook and get going. In upcoming Learning for Life Online posts, we’ll walk through more of Facebook’s features, including the privacy settings and photo albums. In the meanwhile, talk to a friend or relative who’s been on Facebook if you get stuck anywhere. You probably know a few.

Help & Resources