Older people may be Facebook’s fastest-growing demographic, but seniors tend to interact with Facebook less than other age groups. As part of a Penn State study, researchers discovered that seniors are more likely to use Facebook to find out what their children and grandchildren are doing instead of actively participating.
Many people are hesitant to join Facebook, because it asks numerous personal questions, such as your relationship status and where you live. On the other hand, you are required to answer only a few questions; most are optional. And you can hide your answers using your Privacy and Security Settings (see below how to access them).
Facebook also can be intimidating with its security settings, paid advertising, and game invites. Here are some ways to simplify Facebook and have more fun.
10 Facebook Tips and Tricks
#1 Change your privacy settings. Privacy settings can be set to Public, Friends, Friends and Acquaintances, Custom, and Only Me. That means your posts are only visible to those people. Many people are changing their privacy settings to Friends, because they receive nasty comments by trolls or friend requests by someone of the opposite sex who finds you beautiful or handsome and just wants to get married (by the way, NEVER answer these).
Tip: You can do this two ways—universally and individually. To change your privacy settings universally, click the upside down triangle on the top right of your Facebook page and select Settings. From the left-hand column, choose Privacy. Under the Who can see my stuff? section, click Limit the audience for posts I've shared with...then select your choice. Click Limit Old Posts.
Individually, before you post a comment, you can change your settings for that individual post by selecting a category from the button just to the left of the post button. Simply click on it and select. That will change that post and the following posts you make unless you change the category back.
#2 Turn off game invites. If you don’t want to see game invitations from friends, simply go to the downward pointing triangle in the upper right portion of the page. Click and select Settings. In the left-hand column, select Notifications. Click the Edit icon next to the On Facebook section, then click Edit again next to App requests and activity. Set notifications to Off.
#3 Prevent posts from showing up in your news feed. If one of your grandchildren has a habit of sharing too much, you can Unfollow them instead of Unfriending them. They will remain your friend, and you can visit their page, but their posts won’t pop up in your news feed. Simply go to their page. To the right of where you see the checkmark for Friends, you’ll see a checkmark for Following. Just uncheck it. Tip: If you Unfriend someone, they will believe you are angry with them; however, if you Unfollow them, they may not even notice.
#4 Save or Share posts. If you see a post with a recipe you want to save or that contains an image of a grandchild, you can save it to your Facebook two ways. a) Click the Share button. When options pop up, click Share... In the upper left corner, the menu will read Share on your own Timeline. You can save it that way. b) If you want to share it to your timeline, but you want to make sure no one else can see it, change your privacy button (next to the Cancel button) to Only Me. Alternatively, you can also Save the post by clicking the dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the post and selecting Save.
#5 Save an image. Want to save a photo of a grandchild or an image you may want to use as your profile picture? Click on the image until it’s the only entry on the page. Then, right-click on the image and select Save as. Tip: Make sure you remember where you saved it on your computer so you can find it again. Pictures or Desktop are two easy-to-remember locations.
#6 Safety issues. It’s important to use your Privacy Settings to ensure your safety. Click on the upside down triangle at the top right, then select Privacy on the left-hand column menu. Edit Who can see my stuff?, Who can contact me? and Who can look me up? for your safety. While you’re at it, go to the Security setting in the left-hand column and answer those questions.
#7 Hide your friends list. If you have nosy family, you may want to hide some of your friends. In the blue section up top, select your name to go to your profile page, which is the page your visitors see. In the lower left corner, you’ll see images of your friends. In the dropdown menu in that section, select Edit Friends. Then change Who can see your friends to Only Me or a custom option. Tip: This is the location where you can change your profile and cover photos, too.
#8 Investigating a potential friend. If someone sends you a friend request, how can you be sure it’s someone you want to be your friend? When someone sends you a friend request, you can Add Friend or Remove. If you click on their name, you can go to their page and find out more about them. In most cases, if someone has a new account, few or no photos or lives overseas, it’s not a good idea to click Add Friend.
#9 Hide posts. Sometimes, you don’t want to see advertising or posts from friends. Click on the dropdown menu at the upper right of the post, and select Hide Post. If the post is racist, sexist, or violent, you can inform Facebook by following instructions that will appear after you hide the post.
#10 Delete your Facebook account. If you tried it but don’t like it, just click on the upside down triangle on the upper right, then select Security from the menu on the left. At the bottom, you can deactivate your account.
Facebook Safety Check
Facebook has instituted a feature called Facebook Safety Check. If you’re in an area where people have reported a natural or manmade disaster, you will receive a prompt from Facebook. You can follow instructions to mark yourself safe and find out if friends and family in the area are safe, too.
Facebook Safety Check was first used in the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake. Later, it was used for Hurricane Patricia, the Paris attacks, and in March 2016 during an explosion at a train station in Brussels.
Safety on Facebook
Certain aspects of Facebook may be surprising and, perhaps, frightening to people who haven’t been members since the beginning. Here are some common-sense safety tips:
- Use your Privacy and Security settings to maintain safety. This is your responsibility, although Facebook will send you messages about updating your settings on a regular basis.
- Don’t friend people you don’t know. There are scammers on Facebook. In addition, if someone you think is a friend asks to friend you again, beware. Con artists can hack your friend’s account and even post the same profile photo. Before accepting a friend request, make sure you haven’t already friended them.
- Limit your use of games and other applications. Some applications, including Facebook games such as Farmville, send your private information to outside servers. If you play a Facebook game, it’ll ask for your Facebook information.
- Protect your location. Don’t post photos of your trip to Bermuda until after you return unless you have strict privacy settings. Otherwise, it’s an open invitation to burglars. Do not use the check-in function unless you really want everyone to know where you are.
- Don’t overshare. In addition to maintaining your privacy, help others do so, too. Don’t post photos of grandchildren on your public site unless their parents don’t mind. Keep your address and phone number private. Scammers may even use your relationship status as a way to get to you.
Remember Google is your friend. If you want to do something on Facebook but don’t know how, Google it.
Interested in joining an independent living community that is up-to-date with technology? The Esquiline offers a joyful and spiritual lifestyle with a wide range of amenities. For more information on The Esquiline, call us at 800-533-6279 or contact us here.