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'Facebook for those 40-plus'

In the old days, people would write letters, call, or visit each other face-to-face.

Keeping in touch with family and friends nowadays is different. We have e-mail, instant messaging, texting, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter... and the list goes on.

Keeping up with today's technology can be overwhelming for those who didn't grow up with it.

So Detroit Lakes Community Education decided to host a number of classes to teach the unfamiliar technological advances to those who have the desire to catch up.

Since Facebook is currently one of the most popular social networking sites, a class called "Facebook for those 40-plus" is planned for May.

Patty Fresonke, instructor of the class, said she based the whole layout of it on questions her father asked her about Facebook.

"People who didn't grow up with computers can have a hard time with things like Facebook," she said. "It's better to have a bit of knowledge when tackling anything on the Internet. They need to be safe."

Facebook is constantly changing its layout, privacy settings and general functionality of things.

Although Faye Reimers has had a Facebook account for six months, she still wants to learn about the correct way to use it and find out more about reconnecting with old friends.

She signed up for the next Facebook for those 40 plus class scheduled for May 14.

"I don't want to have any problems, any detrimental feedback from people," she said of why she wants to take the class. "I want to use it in a positive manner."

And with a daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons living in the Twin Cities, she wants to utilize the technology and benefit from its features.

"New communication and technology comes so easily for our younger people," she said, adding that she wants to stay in her two grandsons' "network world."

Community Education Secretary Kitti Kivi-Lex said there was an attempt to teach a similar class when Facebook first spread among different age groups, but there wasn't enough interest.

Now more and more people are interested in learning about Facebook in addition to other communication outlets like Twitter and blogging. Many people have also expressed interest in learning about Blackberry and iPod use.

Upcoming classes include "Facebook, Twitter, blogging, oh my!" scheduled for April 23 and "Introduction to your iPod" to be held April 30.

Fresonke will also be teaching both classes. She'll cover things like syncing aiPods with computers, making playlists, iTunes and other applications.

For a list of Community Education technology classes, visit