[HOW TO] Getting the Elderly Up To Speed On The Internet: Making Friends (part 2)

In the first part of this series, we created a computer environment that requires little to no intervention by the users to get them from powering on their laptops to accessing their profile on Facebook. Using this setup, my mother had more focus on what she needed to learn and deal with, sometimes we forgot how much is required in order for us to navigate a website such as Facebook. Unless we break down the website into its smaller and simpler elements, the first time computer users will be presented with a very high learning curve and might be inclined to give up in frustration over how much they need to grasp before they are able to do anything with a computer.

So to deal with Facebook I broke it down in order of importance for my mom:

  • Sending and accepting friend requests
  • Viewing photos
  • Checking and replying to messages
  • Using the Facebook Chat

Friend Requests

Facebook Navigation

A Facebook without friends is like an empty canvas; there is only so much you can do with a Facebook with ‘zero’ friends. So the first thing we tackled is adding some people to my mother’s Facebook. We kept it limited to close family and friends so that my mother doesn’t have to worry about what she shares, and also I went ahead and changed the privacy settings for her Facebook explaining to her that only the people who she adds and accepts as friends will be able to see what she does on Facebook.

[HOW TO] Getting the Elderly Up To Speed On The Internet: The Prerequisites

It is certainly not an understatement that the internet has revolutionized communication for my generation, but at the same time, there are plenty of people that missed this revolution’s train and now they are feeling more and more isolated since everyone has completely migrated to the internet.

My mother is one of those people; she has been holding back on learning how to use a computer or browse the internet for the past 20 years, but now that everyone is just sending their photos through email and Facebook rather than through a post, and they send each other messages through the internet rather than through voicemail, she has been getting more and more interested. Therefore, I decided that it is time to bring her up to speed on the net. So in these posts, and hopefully some follow ups, I will be introducing her to the various parts of the net and I’ll be sharing with you various parts of what we have learned together. The aim is to create a method for teaching those computer holdouts how to use computers and the net and making the internet interesting, enticing and relevant for them using social media.

The internet is vast in what it offers and while a students starting point for learning to use the internet might be Google, for my mom, her interests lies mostly in Facebook. Facebook allowed me to only teach her using one platform what was split up into 5 or more platforms just 3 years ago, it combines chatting, messaging, profile updates, address book, pictures and videos on a single platform. So I decided that this will be our starting point.

Prerequisites

Gmail and Facebook are enough!

An email is still a requirement for setting up your online presence. So, after finally finding a suitable Gmail account name that doesn’t involve numbers – so that it is easy to remember – I went on to setup the account, and saved the username and password in the browser. Upon logging into the email account, I checked the “stayed signed in” so that my mother won’t have to deal with usernames and passwords, and I also added a bookmark that is visible at the top of the browser.

HOW TO: Download An Entire Facebook Photo Album

One reason for the success of Facebook’s photo album is the extreme ease in which a user can upload their photo on the website so even grandparents and little children are able to do it without a hitch. Now even entire family photo albums exist solely on the website but there is one feature that just seems to be missing from their services. A method to download entire photo-albums, which sometime contains hundreds of photos, that is better than the mind numbing “Save As..”

Who Has Not Joined Facebook Yet?

With Facebook hitting the 500 million user mark it is astounding how many people are on it, when it comes to the states almost 150 million people are on the website. That’s half of the states population, if we eliminate those who are too young or too old, too stupid, or in jail we will end up with about 20 million users in the United States who managed to hold off from joining the social media revolution. So I was curious to figure out who might those people be and why might they not have joined Facebook.

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5 Simple Ways to Protect Your Privacy On Facebook

5 Simple Ways to Protect Your Privacy On Facebook

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Now those privacy zealots are always bashing Facebook and its users for not valuing their privacy, and calling on everyone on the web to go back to their cocoon and place a big firewall seal on their information and lives. But let us face it, majority of the people on the internet like their Facebook and social media and like using...

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The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook

The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook

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Recently Facebook has gotten on the bad side of most people, from politicians to security experts to casual folks everyone is starting to realize just how little Zuckman and his Facebook care about their user's privacy. At first it was concerns about the latest "Like" feature that was popping up on 3rd party websites, then there...

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Facebook: A Penny for Your Thought?

Facebook: A Penny for Your Thought?

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10 Ways to Lose Your Facebook Friends in 10 Days!

10 Ways to Lose Your Facebook Friends in 10 Days!

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For my special dish of the day, I decided to present you with 10 easy and time efficient ways to lose your Facebook "friends" in ten days!

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