Wondering How to Get on Facebook?
“Too much of a good thing is wonderful.” –Mae West
How to Get on Facebook
Facebook has become one of the most popular social networking sites on the Internet. As of December 2009, Facebook has grown to over 350 million members (this since 2004), and is the second most popular web site on the Internet, behind only Google. Signing up for a Facebook account is easy and free.
Signing up for Facebook
Facebook makes it simple to sign up for an account. In fact, the home page of the Facebook web site invites visitors to sign up for an account right away. Begin by typing “http://www.facebook.com” in the Address field of your web browser. This will bring up the Facebook web site’s home page.
On the right hand side of the screen is a heading reading “Sign Up – it’s free and anyone can join.” Enter the following information into the text fields provided:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Your Email (This address can be used to send you updates about what your friends are doing on Facebook)
- New Password (This is the password you will use to sign into Facebook)
- I am: (This is used to indicate to Facebook if you are male or female)
- Birthday (Facebook will display your birthday to your friends unless you specify otherwise)
Once you have filled out the form, click the “Sign Up” button. The system shows you a picture with two words and asks you to re-type the words in a text field. This is a verification procedure used to keep spammers from creating fake accounts to send junk marketing messages to Facebook users. Click the “Sign Up” button on this page once you are finished.
Setting Up Your Facebook Account
Once you have started your account, Facebook will bring you to the Getting Started page. This is a four-step process used to help you find your friends on Facebook. Step 1 will show you a list of people that Facebook thinks you may already know. It does this by using information it has gathered from people who have already joined Facebook. If you know any of the people on the list, simply click the “Add Friend” button next to their name. If you don’t know anyone on the list, or don’t wish to add them, click the “Skip this step” link.
Step 2 will ask if you want to use your e-mail address to locate people that you may already know. If you use your e-mail address to communicate with friends, you can ask Facebook to access your e-mail account and try to locate those friends. Facebook does not store your e-mail information (such as your password) when it does this. If you do not wish to use your e-mail address to look up friends, there is a “Skip this step” link here as well.
Step 3 asks for “Profile Information” that will help locate people you may know from school or work. Facebook will ask you for the name of the secondary school (such as a high school) and university you attended, as well as the company you work for. This step helps you find people that you may not have seen or talked to in decades. Facebook knows that some of its users do not want to give this information out, however, so it is all optional. If you don’t want to reveal this information, click “Skip this step.”
Based on the information you have given Facebook, the web site will display a list of people that it thinks you might know. In most cases this will include a picture of each of the people. If you know any of the people on the list, just click the “Add as a friend” link for the person. If not, click “Skip.”
Finally, Step 4 will ask you for a profile picture that is displayed to other Facebook users who may be looking for you. You can upload a photograph from your computer, or if your computer has a webcam attached, Facebook can use it to take a picture for you. This step can be skipped as well if you don’t want to use a picture.
Once you finish the Getting Started section, you are taken to the Welcome screen. This screen gives you information on how to change your privacy settings, how to edit your Facebook profile, and how to find more friends. The easiest way to find friends is to use the Search field in the upper right corner of the page. To use it, type in the name of the person you are looking for and click “Search.” Anyone whose name matches what you typed will appear. If it is a common name, there may be many results – after all, there are hundreds of millions of Facebook users. When this happens, use the “Filter” fields to narrow your search down. You can filter the results by the user’s location, the school(s) they attended, or the company that they work for.
You can also use Facebook to let your friends know what is going in your life. To get started with this feature, click the “Profile” link at the top of the screen, and then the “Wall” tab. You will see a text field that says “What’s on your mind?” Simply type what you are doing, or your opinion on a subject, and click the “Share” button. What you type will display on the pages of your friends, with your name at the beginning. It will appear like this:
John Doe is getting ready to go out for the evening with friends, and can’t wait!
Many users will try to write their updates in the third person because the system attaches the user’s name at the beginning of the update. This is not required though.
As you continue to use Facebook, and add friends to your list, more and more people from your past and present will locate you. This is what Facebook was created for – to find new friends and to reconnect with old ones. Have fun with Facebook and the other 350 million people who use it.
For more information related to how to get on Facebook, visit the following pages: