Submitted by: Philip Mancini
Ten years ago, kids kept in touch with each other through email. Five years ago, email became pass as texting became the norm. Now, kids talk to each other on Facebook. Parents may certainly want to know what their kids are doing online and who they are talking to on Facebook, but many adults don t realize that Facebook can be a helpful tool for the middle-aged as well as teenagers.
Facebook is not just texting on the web; it is a social networking site where people can converse with current friends and family, reconnect with friends from the past, make new friends, and even get news and entertainment updates. These are all aspects that middle-aged users would enjoy.
When a viewer visits your Facebook page, some basic information is available, but only as much as you will allow the uninvited to see. This information would probably include your name, year of birth, hometown and current city, but further details can only be seen if you allow the viewer into your Facebook circle of friends and family. Members can send each other invitations to join that inner circle.
Those who are allowed preferred access to your page can read comments you have made. You might write about something going on in your life right now ( I just sent my oldest child off to register for college. Where has the time gone! ). Some Facebook users leave messages about movies or other entertainment they recently experienced ( Just got the new Call of Duty. Although many early reviews said the graphics were poor, I think they re great, much better than the last version. ). If you re on vacation, you can put updates about the trip, either fun ( We just got back from snorkeling can t believe we got Sam in the water!) or important (I d like to stay another couple days. Is there someone who could water my lawn tomorrow?).
Creating your Facebook page is almost as easy as reading someone else s. Although middle-aged users often worry about developing web pages, with Facebook you simply fill out the forms with whatever information you want and tell it what details you want everyone to have access to. It asks about favorite movies, books, music, and so on.
What you say about yourself allows Facebook to personalize your pages. The names you include as your favorites are then put into a news feed that shows up on your personal page. For instance, if you put Mythbusters as one of your favorite television shows, the feed will put an entry on your page when there is news about the show such as new episodes or special airings.
One of the most common online activities for the middle-aged is looking for old friends, and Facebook can help with that, too. You can search a specific high school or college for a specific graduating class to see what former classmates have Facebook pages. When you find people you would like to reconnect with, simply send them a message to tell them you are on Facebook, too. Just like creating a page and viewing other people s messages, Facebook makes it easy to contact others.
Finding others who have similar interests helps you make new friends on Facebook, as well. You can list in your profile if you are married, single or somewhere in between, and if you are looking for men or women, relationship or friendship. Many middle-aged people are looking for romantic relationships, and Facebook allows new partnerships to form and can help those middle-aged rekindle old associations.
Facebook is the communications tool for teens today. But there are also a surprising number of middle-aged users as part of the community. Those who haven t yet created a Facebook page should give it a try. No matter what you want from a social networking site, be it companionship or current news, Facebook can provide it, even for the middle-aged.
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