Confused by Facebook?

Everyone is joining Facebook
First, your sister suggests you join Facebook. Then your college roommate (from many years ago) asks to keep in touch. She wants to know if you are on Facebook. When you look up the address for a local market using Google, the store has a Facebook button on their web page. Everyone’s talking about it, and you’re curious.

So you go to the Facebook website, follow the directions, enter your email and sign up. You have joined the over 300 hundred million (yes, that is 300,000,000+) people, around the world, who have Facebook profiles.

How does Facebook work?
Now what? How does it work? You respond to your sister and former college roommate’s requests to be friends. You receive a message or two from each of them. You write back, but you just don’t see what all the fuss is about. What’s so great about Facebook?

You have fallen into a common pitfall for many new users—-thinking Facebook is similar to email. To get the many benefits of Facebook and to understand what’s so great about social networking, you need to understand that it works very differently.

Facebook has more in common with a party or the conversations in the break room at work than it does to personal correspondence.

Facebook is an on-going party
In the break room, Betty is showing photos of her grandkids in one corner. Sam and Julie are playing a game at the table. Lloyd and John are discussing the latest political news. Shaun is offering his daughter’s Girl Scout cookies by the window. Lindsey wants to tell you about the daily specials at your favorite market, and she has a recipe that sounds really good.

Instead of talking to only one of your co-workers, you take a peek at Betty’s pictures, play a round of the game with Sam and Julie, make a quick comment on the topic Lloyd and John are discussing, purchase a box of your favorite cookies, jot down Lindsey’s recipe and plan to stop by the market on your way home to take advantage of the specials. Then you return to your desk and your work. When everyone gathers for the afternoon break, you might join them again, or you might go outside for a short walk.

Join in the conversation
If you think and use Facebook in this way, you will understand and enjoy it. You’ll get the most out of your experience by joining in on the conversations, viewing and sharing links to videos and information you find, commenting and discussing, participating in the overall community.