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Getting started on Facebook

Facebook You might already be a pro at the whole Facebook shebang (in which case, have you liked our Facebook page?). On the other hand, you might be sick of getting those shocked expressions when you say you’re not. And although it may not be for everyone, once you’ve signed up, you can get a lot of use and fun out of it. If it’s no good, you can always delete your account and forget it ever happened, we promise. So here’s our guide to the absolute basics you need to know.


What is Facebook?

Facebook is a website that allows you to connect with other people who are registered on the site. Like Gransnet, it is an online social network. It suits people who want to keep in touch with people they already know in real life.

What you can do on Facebook

  • Share information about what’s going on in your life and your interests
  • See your friends’ status updates - what they write about what’s going on in their lives - and comment on them
  • Send public or private messages to your friends
  • Catch up with friends who are online when you are, using the chat facility
  • Upload photos to your profile and view photos posted by your friends
  • Create events and invite your friends to them
  • Join communities interested in the same things as you. See what other people are saying and join in. Again, have a look at the Gransnet page on Facebook.

How to join Facebook

Firstly, you need to visit Facebook and register. This will involve providing some basic details, including your name, date of birth and email address. You will also need to create a password. 

You will then be taken through the process of adding people from your email account (skip this if you like). Then you can add info to your own profile page, where people can see extra information about you, such as where you went to school, where you worked or other interests. All of this information is optional, but it might help friends identify which Jo Bloggs you are of the 3,000 on Facebook.

If you have a digital photo of yourself, you can add it at this point. If not, you can always add one another time. You can also add to your interests later on, so don’t worry if you can’t decide which series of House is your favourite for now.

Managing your privacy 

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It's a good idea to have a look at your privacy settings as these will allow you to decide who can see your posts, who has access to your profile, and even who can look you up and send a friend request. 

While you are logged in, click the cog symbol on the top-right corner of the screen and choose 'privacy settings' from the list. From here, you can change the settings accordingly by clicking an 'edit' button on the right-hand side.

It might be worth noting that entries into competitions on our Facebook page are private, and the information is submitted only only to GNHQ.

Finding friends on Facebook

Once you have a Facebook profile, you can find people to be friends with - either by typing their names into the search box, or by getting Facebook to run a check of your contacts on the email addresses you use.

A Facebook friendship needs to be confirmed by both parties - one of you sends a request by clicking on a button, the other accepts or rejects (or perhaps ignores!) it.

A word of warning...

You may want to add your older, teenage grandchildren on Facebook. Be prepared for them to be resistant to the idea and be even more prepared, if they accept, to get a screenful of teenage tomfoolery every time you log on - not for the fainthearted!