I spent two hours walking Kim through her first tentative Facebook steps. She navigated her way through the privacy settings, discovered how to leave her wall and successfully return to it later, and even gave the search bar a shot.
"I can't find O____ B_____," she complained, trying to look up an old friend from high school as I sat with the phone propped up to my ear, tagging photos of her.
"Don't worry about it, she just found you," I said, watching as O.B. 'liked' the picture of Kim I'd just put up and left a comment. Within moments, Kim had a friend request.
"That's a little scary," she admitted. And it is. Which is why I'm offering these tips to my sister and the other 36 people in the world who are just now joining the Facebook nation:
1. Remember that creepy guy from high school, the one who wore plastic vampire fangs to class and stared at you all day? Yup, he's on Facebook too, and he's about to send you a friend request so that he can finally confess to you that he was in love with you 30 years ago and that you are still just as beautiful today. Feel free to ignore his friend request.
2. Remember your younger cousin, the one who set off firecrackers in the chicken coop and it caught on fire? He hasn't changed. Ignore his friend request, too.
3. People will tag random pictures of you. They do not care if you were thirty pounds heavier in that photo or had just had your hair done like Gene Simmons of KISS for a costume party. They also don't care if your mother is on Facebook and will not find it as hilarious as your friends do to tag you in a picture of a bong shaped like Elvis's head. You do have the power to un-tag yourself in those photos. Do it.
4. Good news! Your mother is not on Facebook. Yet.
5. Some of your Facebook friends are quite vocal about their political views or feelings on social issues affecting our nation. Some of these people are, in fact, crazier than fruit bats. Choose your battles wisely. Sometimes it's better to just bite your fingers instead of commenting.
6. Yes, if you post something on someone's page, all of their friends can read it. So if you want to tell your friend Jeanie that you still regret not marrying John Taylor of Duran Duran, send her a private message instead of posting it on her wall where your husband might see it.
7. Of course Duran Duran has their own Facebook page! You can only 'like' it once, though.
8. Don't keep updating your status every five minutes. Honestly, nobody cares if you just found a great deal on toilet paper at Target. (Wait. How great of a deal was it?) Also, why do you want creepy vampire fang guy to know where you are at all times?
Facebook can be a little scary for newbies. Personally, I'm thrilled to have my sister on there with me, mostly because my cousin Lori keeps ignoring my Farmville requests, and I want someone to play with me. Plus, it's better that she figures Facebook out now ... before her children do!