I’ve never had a particularly close relationship with FaceBook.
I made a profile many years ago, so long ago that I actually filled out a list of hobbies, favorite authors, and the like. And then it sat.
I’d check it every so often – maybe once or twice a year – but never really did anything with it. Eventually I added a couple of friends, an old high school classmate and someone I’d known in college.
And then Bob the Brain Tumor whispered that it was a privacy risk (which it totally is) and I deleted the account.
But these days everyone communicates via FaceBook. Businesses communicate via FaceBook. Groups communicate via FaceBook. Some days it feels like the whole web has migrated to FaceBook.
Some people still don’t have FaceBook. Heck, some people still don’t have internet. But if you don’t, you’re missing out on a lot of information.
Earlier this year, or perhaps late last year, I created a new account.
An Epic Boondogle
I understand that FaceBook is difficult to navigate when you can see what you’re doing. If you’re navigating blind, it can be darn near unfathomable.
It’s hard to tell what’s where, what’s grouped together, and how different links work. I’m sure there’s a system to it, but without knowing the system, things seem to come and go at random.
Frequently, I’d find one thing, move on and click another thing, and be unable to find my way back to the first.
I did accept a couple of friend requests, and joined a group bia an invite someone sent me, but by and large, I more stumbled into those things than actually accomplished them.
I thought seriously about deleting the account again.
Mobile FaceBook for the Win
While I was at the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, my computer teacher, Ms. B, suggested using the mobile FaceBook application (m.facebook.com) instead of the web-based version (www.facebook.com).
I tried it once early on, but since I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t get much out of it. I went back to the web-based version.
This weekend, for no real reason, I decided to try again.
This time, the difference was night and day.
There were a few simple menus, and they stayed put. If I opened Friends, or Groups, or Notifications, I could still find my way over to Messages and back to my Main page.
Over the past week or so, I’ve managed to:
- Find and send friend requests to some people I know
- read and respond to messages
- read notifications
- post on my timeline
- fill in more of my profile
- find the group I’m in and read messages there
- add a profile picture
- find a group event and respond that I was attending
At this point, I’d say I know just about enough about how FaceBook works to be dangerous.
I’m still not sure how I stumbled into a few of those things, or that I could repeat do any of them again. There are things I still haven’t figured out.
- Responding to replies on my timeline took me away from the timeline, and I wasn’t easily able to find my way back.
- I found another group and liked it, but couldn’t figure out how to join.
- I couldn’t figure out how to keep up with group messages, beyond reading the few most recently posted.
- When there are multiple accounts with the same name, I have a hard time figuring out which, if any, is the one I want – especially without visuals.
- I don’t know how to keep up with individual friends, especially ones who post often. FaceBook just moves way too fast!
- And about a million other things I’m still too new to know I don’t know.
But I’m there. And I’ll learn. I just hope no one sends me invites to play games, because I am not even ready for that learning curve!
Are you on FaceBook? Did it take you a long time to learn how to use it? Do you enjoy it, or is it an incredible time sink?