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Fans of Facebook

Social networking site gains popularity among Coloradan grandparents

Created date

February 23rd, 2010
Facebook, a social networking website popular with the younger generation, is gaining a strong foothold with the residents at Wind Crest. [caption id="attachment_8214" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Patricia Brinkopf uses Facebook to share pictures of her grandchildren with others. (Photo courtesy of Patricia Brinkopf)"][/caption] The free website allows its members to easily share pictures and news with other members and connect with family and friends. I have grandchildren, and that s really why I got into it, says Wind Crest resident Patricia Brinkopf. Facebook seemed like an easy way to catch up and see what they are up to.

How it works

Anyone with an e-mail address can sign up. After providing a picture and filling out some general information like your name, town of residence, and alma mater, your Facebook profile begins to grow. Profiles can even include lists of interests, activities, blog posts, full picture albums, and digital movies. After creating a profile, members are free to search for friends, family members, or classmates who might also have Facebook accounts. Then, once users find someone they know (or would like to know) they can request to become their friend. If that person accepts the friend request, the user then has access to their full profile and all the aforementioned blogs, picture albums, and movies. It s really easy to get onto and into, Brinkopf explains. I don t do all that blogging stuff or telling people what I m up to, but I do like to see my grandchildren s pictures, make comments on them, and of course, write messages to them on their [personal message] wall.

A watchful eye

Brinkopf, a retired high school teacher and a protective momma bird by nature, says, I have lots of grandchildren and can see all their pictures. Hopefully, knowing I m on Facebook might keep them in line, she laughs. [caption id="attachment_8213" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Patricia Brinkopf s profile picture on Facebook shows her (center) surrounded by family. (Photo courtesy of Patricia Brinkopf)"][/caption] She uses Facebook mostly to keep in contact with family members and friends but has even been friended by the former high school students she taught over the years in Cherry Creek and during a stint in Italy. Brinkopf has already ' made connections with almost a hundred people on Facebook. You can sign up to Facebook here. It's free. Once you become friends with someone, you can click on their Facebook page and view all the mutual connections you have. It s interesting to see what friends you have in common, Brinkopf says. It s amazing how everyone is connected.

Event planner

In addition to catching up with her family and grandchildren, Brinkopf says she uses Facebook to keep on top of her schedule and other activities around town. I am [Facebook] friends with a few of my neighbors here at Wind Crest, but we mostly just chat when we see each other in the clubhouse or around campus, so we re not using Facebook for that. But I really do use it when it comes to my church and finding out about the activities that are going on. Our church makes a lot of announcements on Facebook. I think it s an unimaginably good thing, Brinkopf says. I think overall it s a positive and interesting phenomenon. It s something that I couldn t even have imagined five years ago, and it s changing how people interact.