it is funny how facebook inspires such strong emotions in people. there are those who won't! and those who love it and are addicted to it. some are embarrassed to admit they have joined. and some spend way too much time there, and are constantly looking for new friends...
you can use facebook to:
- find old friends and family: i have found some cousins and old school friends that i have lost contact with. it is so nice to catch up again! you can see who looks fat or old, who is divorced, and who works where. things you just need to know about old friends...
- waste time you would have used to do admin: years ago, it was rumored that tetris was invented by the russians to lower productivity in the west. now, we have facebook to do that. maybe we should give facebook to the chinese, to bring their productivity down to our levels... i hate admin, and love it when i'm sooo busy, and have no time for admin. facebook is a brilliant time-waster..
- stalk follow favorite celebrities, and an easy way to 'speak' to them: i have 'friended' lots of scrapbooking and blogging 'celebrities'. people who's work i admire. people who's blogs i follow. it is a nice way to reach out and interact with them, without crossing that line between just saying 'hi' and being a nuisance. it is a modern form of fan mail. you can also join fan groups.
- keep in contact with friends and family: i chat on facebook. i love to see who is online, and if i have some time, i like to chat a little. i chat with my sister carla in australia, my friends andre and elsa in dharhan, saudi arabia, some of my scrapbooking/blogging friends in capetown and durban, and even with angie. angie works 3 shops down from me in the centre. we can almost see each other. but we chat more on facebook than in real life. i know all sorts of snippets about people's lives, and all that without actually having to speak to anyone. all because i read their status updates, see their photos and see their profiles.
- check out photos - sometimes before the family gets to see them: often people post their pics on facebook, where we get to see them before the grannies and others do. and we can comment on them too. it is also easy to tag people in photographs, which is a brilliant way to embarrass your friend by posting pics of what they did in the 80's, or last week at that raucous party...
- easy way to send messages to friends/multiple people: i know of people who arrange functions and especially reunions exclusively on facebook. i also have friends who send business/marketing messages on facebook.
- keep up with friends birthdays, and easy way to send birthday wishes and gifts: this is to me one of the biggest advantages of facebook. i know who's birthday is coming up, and i can pop in to say happy birthday, in spite of distance and time difference. now, if facebook can just figure out a way to send chocolate cake, we will be set...
- free and subtle way to promote your business/blog/online profile: without being too 'in your face'. if you are online, for example a blogger, then a good facebook profile will only increase your online presence. it will also make you easier to google.
- join a community/group of like minded: there are many groups and networks you can join, to share affiliation or ideas or interests.
- it gives you something else to do with your computer and cellphone, so you need to spend even less time with your 'in real life' friends: it is a brilliant way to pass the time in the waiting area of the doctor's rooms and in queues. and if you are early to pick up the kids at school. have you done the facebook-thing with your phone yet? i love it!
- phonebook: on your facebook page it says 'phonebook'. there you will find the contact details of all your friends. a lot of people are unaware of this, and put their personal cellphone numbers there. it takes the numbers you give it in your personal details.
- bulletin board for announcements: you can post upcoming events.
- pass those quiet hours away: ever been too tired/lazy to work? is it too late to start something new, but too early to go home? are you stressed and over-extended at work, and need some brain-candyfloss? facebook is just the place to go for some brainless fun!
spykeep an eye on your kids: if your kids are on facebook, you can friend them, and then sit back and watch what they do... i have friends who are not on facebook, who tell me their kids are studying very hard at university. but those kids, who are on facebook, tell a different story on their profiles...
- six degrees of separation: this is the theory that everyone is separated from everyone else by no more than 6 steps. and nowhere is this more obvious than on facebook. i have so often seen friends of friends, and been surprised at who i found there. people know people in unexpected ways.
- and finally, it's fun! it's the new tetris, only way more interactive.
so, you have recently joined facebook, and now you cannot see what all the fuss is about? it gets to be more fun the more active friends you have. and the more active you are. that way, every time you log in, there is a message or a new friend or a funny comment waiting for you.
personally, i love status updates the most. i love reading my friend's witty freeze-frames of their day. and coming up with something interesting myself is always a fun challenge. i wish some of my friends would update their status more often.
my son francois canceled his account. he says he wasn't friends with all those people in school, so why should he be now? and, the moment his mom joined facebook, he felt it had become too mainstream, too common, and he left!
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