Saturday, April 3, 2010

My 78-year-old brother-in-law “friended” me on Facebook this week

My B-I-L has a computer and does a certain amount of email, but I was still surprised at the friend request. Then I thought--this is great! He’s finding another way that he can stay in touch with his kids, family and friends, many of whom live in different states. Already we’ve gotten the chance to admire his favorite collector cars through the photos he’s posted on his Facebook profile.

While the Millennials and the Gen-Xers communicate and network with each other online as a matter of course, we Baby Boomers and the generation before us have come late to social networking. We’ve been a bit skeptical, but now we’re fastest growing segment of folks to adopt Facebook, Twitter and other online conveniences.

What is social networking? This brief online video by Common Craft is a good introduction.

Facebook and Twitter are two tools you can use to stay in touch with your social network. Facebook gives you your own homespace on the web, where you can post items of interest and link up with your friends. Twitter is like a telegram—you get and send brief bursts of news (140 characters or less). There are pluses and minuses. As with any Internet application, you have to safeguard yourself.

Iintrigued and want to find out more? The Urbana Free Library has a variety of books that will inform and help you decide if Facebook or Twitter are networking tools that work for you.

Try these:

I'm On Facebook, Now What??? : How to Get Personal, Business, and Professional Value From Facebook

by Jason Alba and Jesse Stay

The Twitter Book
by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein

And know that The Urbana Free Library has dipped its toes in before you! Visit the library’s Facebook and Twitter sites and check us out! We can be your friends.

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