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Casual Saturdays: Why You Should Get Facebook September 13, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Casual Days, Other Random Stuff.
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When I first heard about Facebook, I thought it was stupid. A place where you could go online, and become “friends” with people that you already knew, and send mindless applications back and forth? Sounded like the ultimate immature middle-schooler’s internet haven. Then my younger sister got one. She went on about how useful it was, the fun she had, and the ability it gave her to actually get to know her friends better. I scoffed, why do you need a website to get to know your friends, shouldn’t you do that just by hanging out? Nonetheless, my sister continued to try to convince me to get one, and I just ignored her. Even my mother was against Facebook. She didn’t think it was “safe” for people to have their own internet page where they could put personal information and photos of themselves “for the world to see.” She thought it was the stalker’s internet haven.

Of course, sisters have a way of influencing people. When my aunt got one (my mother’s younger sister), she finally talked my mom into getting one. At work, I had numerous friends telling me I needed to get one. “Nah, I don’t need some stupid internet page to know I have friends, what’s the point?” When it reached the point that almost everyone I knew (even my bosses and some of my church leaders) had one, I finally caved in to “peer pressure.” “Well, I’ll start one, and if I think it’s stupid, I’ll just stop using it,” I thought.

To make an already long story short, I quickly saw how wrong I was. Sure, Facebook does have stupid applications and quizzes that were probably meant to appeal to immature middle-schoolers, but chain letter emails of the same ilk also exist, that doesn’t stop you from using email, you just simply ignore them, the same case happens here. Besides, I soon saw the possible benefits of Facebook outweighed any annoyances.

Facebook really does help you to connect with your friends better. When I graduated high school two years ago, I wondered how I would be able to keep up with all the various paths my friends took. Through Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with almost all of them (including two friends that I’ve been trying to track down since graduation, but haven’t been able to). Facebook acts like a little personal newspaper, as you update pictures and events about what’s going on in your life, your friends can keep up with what you are doing, and you can comment to them about it. Facebook even sends you reminders when friends have birthdays coming up.

I also discovered that not all applications were “stupid,” many are fun, and serve as more ways to express yourself and get to know each other. I realize this is a crazy world we live in where we can socialize more often sitting in front of a computer than in front of that person, but where can you seriously find all of your friends in one place? Besides, most of the people I “socialize” with on Facebook are people I don’t see very often, and I’m grateful that this is able to bring us together.

But what about the security factor? Facebook has easy to use and understand security features, you can pick exactly who can look at your information. For me, I have it set that only people who are my friends can look at any of my personal info, and the beneficial part is that you get to choose your friends, and you can delete people from you friend list at any time. As long as you are careful what you post, and what your security features are, there is nothing to worry about.

Facebook helps parents. Parents, if you get a Facebook, and become “friends” with your children, you can look and see what they are doing just as easily as any of their friends can. You can see exactly who their friends are. If nothing else, Facebook can also serve as a great “parental guidance” tool.

Facebook is the single most useful socializing tool I have found online. When I got a Gmail account, I thought Gmail was the most brilliant and user friendly form of email I’d ever seen. I was an avid Gmail fan who told all of my friends they should get one. Now that I’ve found Facebook, I feel just as strongly. It really does help you connect better with those around you.