Training Facebook Newbies

Last night I taught a class originally titled "Facebook and Families: Keeping Peace in the Statusphere."

What qualifies me to teach a Facebook and parenting training class?
I am a mom blogger, have two teenagers, a twenty year old and an extended family in real life and on Facebook.

And, earlier this year NBC5 interviewed me as Facebook for students, families and schools expert.

Handed this Facebook and parenting teaching assignment by the College of DuPage Continuing Education Department, I set out to solve all the perplexing and challenging Facebook puzzles parents face.

Prepping myself with all kinds of philosophical and real life questions, I was ready to rush in and be a pseudo social media therapist. Whether or not I would give away the tracking software link, so parents could spy on keystrokes, was still up in the air as I pulled into the parking lot at Building K.

Checking into my room, I noticed what could be a student waiting to get in. Was someone really 25 minutes early to my class? Yes. The other students, except for one who registered that day, all arrived at least 15 minutes before class started. As they settled in, I thought about their families and Facebook and how we would talk about their interactions and challenges.

But . . . that's not how the class congealed. Instead, it was a mix of people from places, both in life and business, that wanted to know how in the world this technology really works. Ranging from someone whose first Facebook experience was 48 hours fresh . . . to someone whose computer tech had set up Facebook and invited the student's entire address book to be friends [without their knowledge or permission] . . . to others with hefty networks in the several dozens, families and Facebook was barely on the radar.

All of my pre-work was quietly sent to my inner presentation trash folder.

A new presentation surfaced: one about Facebook and personal branding as a digital scrapbook.

After two hours, we stopped and took stock of what they wanted to learn in our next class.

Turns out this course's destiny is not about how to keep peace in the family statusphere, it's about how to transform from a Facebook newbie into a social media fan. To make that happen, I recruited my in house in real life Facebook teaching assistants [aka my kids]. Next Tuesday night, we're suiting up and going in.

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How new are you to Facebook? What challenges do you face that I can help you with? Do you need a Facebook Trainer?

Image credit: courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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