Sometimes a simple request has the power to kickstart an entire series of articles. So, here we go. Lyn writes:

“I would appreciate some suggestions that will make Facebook easier to use. I can’t send messages, for example. The folks I’ve asked say there is a blue “thing” near the message that I should click, but I’ve never found any “blue things.”

The first question I’ll need to ask if whether you want to send messages on a phone or tablet or using a browser on a PC or Mac. If you want to send a message on a phone or tablet, you’ll need to install the Messenger app. We’ll discuss that in a future article. Today, I’ll give you the basics of sending a message using a browser.

First, open your browser and go to Facebook.

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Click the speech bubble on the top right.

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Your chat window will open.

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I use Messenger frequently, so I’ve already got a lot of active threads there. A thread  is simply an exchange of messages. If there’s a green dot next to someone’s name, it means they are currently active on Messenger. The time at the right shows you when your last message was exchanged with the person.

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To send a new Message click New Message at the top.

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A chat window will open.

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Start typing the name of the person you’d like to send the message to in the To: box. When you start typing you’ll see suggestions. Click on the friend you’d like to send the message to.

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Once you’ve selected the recipient, you can start typing the message.

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Hit enter when you’re done and your message will appear in a bubble inside the window.

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Once you’ve sent a few messages, you can open a chat window simply by clicking on your conversation with that person.

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You’ll see your recent conversation and can pick right up from there.

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Tomorrow, we’ll look at how to send messages via the Facebook Messenger app.