How to navigate and use Social media
Connect with friends and stay up-to-date on news
What they're used for
You have probably heard a lot about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from your children and grandchildren. There is a reason these sites are so popular. They allow you to quickly share and receive information with family and friends, follow newsfeeds from your favorite newspapers and magazines and even learn about community events!
Facebook, twitter and Instagram are not just for kids.
They may seem intimidating at first, but give it a try. Social media a great way to stay
connected with the world.
Social media will allow you to:
Reconnect and stay in touch with old and new friends and family,
Learn about new interests and hobbies,
Follow news feeds from your favorite news sources,
Communicate with others who share your interests, and
See and share photos of your life and the lives of your family members.
Like the other forms of social media, Instagram allows you to share and distribute information fast and easy. Instagram is used to share photos and videos either publicly or to approved followers. Many teenagers like Instagram more than other forms of social media.
To create an Instagram account:
Click sign up and enter the information to open an account.
Create a profile using a user name that you choose and a password. As above, if your user name is already selected, try variations until you pick one that is not already taken.
Using the search feature (magnifying glass), look for friends accounts and "follow" their "feeds." No friend requests are needed with instagram. You simply follow the feed. You can also follow the feeds of news organizations, celebrities, local companies, etc.
Have fun looking at the photos people post!
Navigate to in your web browser.
Under "Sign Up," enter your personal information and then click "Sign Up."
Facebook will ask you to "Confirm your email address." To do this, login to your email and open the message from Facebook. Click on "Confirm your account" to activate your Facebook account. Now you have your very own Facebook account.
Log out of your email and log back in to Facebook. The "Welcome to Facebook" page will appear. Click on the icon that looks like a magnifying glass to search for friends. You can look for old friends, family, anyone.
Once you find someone you would like to connect with, send a "Friend Request." Your friend now has the option to accept your Friend Request or to ignore it. If they accept it, they become one of your Facebook Friends.
People can also send you Facebook Friend Requests. You have the option to accept the request, decline it or ignore it. Remember to only accept friend requests from people you actually know.
You can also "Follow" newspapers, magazines, companies, nonprofits, governmental entities and figures, celebrities, sports teams and others. Every time they post, their post will appear on your "Timeline."
Anytime your friends post, their posts will also appear on your "Timeline." You then have the option to comment on their post or to "react" to it using the buttons that indicate like, love, anger, sadness, and surprise.
Twitter is an online news and social network service where users post and interact with messages, called "tweets." These messages were originally restricted to 140 characters, in November of 2017, the limit was doubled to 280 characters. Many Seniors find twitter interesting because it provided up to the minute updates on local, national and international news.
To sign up for a twitter account:
Navigate to and click "sign up."
Fill in your name, email address or phone number and create a password. (Write down your login info so that you can access it again in the future.)
Click "sign up" and you now have a twitter account.
Use the search function (magnifying glass icon) to search for twitter users who you would like to "follow" and every time these users tweet, their tweet will appear on your twitter homepage.
If you feel daring, you can also retweet something you like or create your own tweet to send out to those people following you.
Social Media Etiquette
Don't overshare- Your friends don't need to know everything about you. Keep your posts happy and funny.
Don't accept every friend request. Sometimes strangers troll the internet and try to strike up friendships with people they don't know for inappropriate reasons. Only accept friend requests from people you actually know.
Be careful when sharing photos. Some of your family and friends do not like to have their photos shared on social media. Its always best to ask others in your photos if its alright with them that you share the photos before you do.
Comment carefully. Whenever you comment on someone else's post, your comment can be seen by all of their friends. Think carefully about what you say in your comment and make sure that your friend will not mind if others see the comment.
Writing with the CAPS LOCK ON means you are yelling. Some seniors have a hard time seeing the letters on a computer or phone screen and use the caps lock. If you need to do so, you may want to mention that when you comment in ALL CAPS.
Keep it friendly. Social media is supposed to be fun. Don't get into disagreements or debates online with friends or others. This is not the place for making threats if someone doesn't agree with your comment about a great new restaurant, a decision made by your local government or your favorite politician.