Stage 3: To Facebook Or Not To Facebook; Final Project, Disproving the Adage “You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks”

6 Dec

Day 3 of my final project began with my decision to focus only on facebook for today, and to move the Skype video-call ‘postmortem discussion’ to tomorrow.

As I stated in my previous post, Dad thinks facebook is suspect.  He thinks his private, personal life should remain private.  He does not like the idea of sharing any part of this with people who don’t already know it.  My goal is to warm him up to this social network by allowing him to log on to my facebook account while I log onto a friend’s, so that he can send me instant messages, poke me, like something, explore the wall of random friends I have and what they’re up to, etc… I anticipate that he may enjoy the experience enough to begin to think about facebook differently.  However, I do not necessarily think he will be ready to create his own account.

I will also be walking my Dad through the process of downloading Skype and creating a username.  We will save the process of video-calling until tomorrow.

So Dad logged onto my facebook account and I took him on a guided tour.  First we used facebook chat, so he could see how instant messaging works on the site.  I had him search through my friend list and visit my siblings’ pages and check out a few of my friends Dad has not had a chance to meet (though he has heard about them during our many phone conversations).  I had him look at my photos and my siblings’ photos.  He was pretty into this part of the site.  But, as I expected, he did bring up issues of privacy.  So I decided I would push him a little bit further and had him go into my privacy settings.  We went over all the aspects that you can customize, so that you can remain hidden and maintain privacy, but still have access to those people you decide to add as your friends.  By the time we had finished this, Dad seemed to have warmed up a bit more, but not entirely.

We went through the process of downloading Skype, which was a bit more difficult since Dad was operating a PC and I have been using Macs for at least the past 6 years.  We were able to talk through all the tiny bumps in the road and Dad was successful in downloading Skype and creating a username.  He didn’t seem very excited, but that all changed when he realized how amazing it was that we were going to  be able to video chat for free.

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