Thursday, September 30, 2010

Facebook: The Social Network

Facebook....friend or foe?

Facebook's getting a lot of buzz these days, thanks to the upcoming mega-movie, "The Social Connection." The movie is loosely based on a book, "The Accidental Billionaires" - which I had read about 7 months ago, and really enjoyed.

I joined Facebook in January 2009...and I think, in most cases, it has been a blessing.

I've caught up with family, friends, neighbors, church friends, co-workers, old high school friends, old college friends, and even, old boyfriends.

I have one place where I can read news, traffic, sports, entertainment and weather alerts - as well as get up-to-the-minute information from disaster management sites.

Just today, I went out to lunch with a sorority sister whom I had not seen in 25 years. (Am I really that old?! SHE didn't look a day older than 21 - and yet, I have most definitely aged!) We had totally lost track of each other over the years - but, through the power & magic of Facebook, we had reconnected and spent a delightful two hours today over drinks and dessert, catching up on the last two decades of our lives.

I firmly believe, that if used in the right way, that Facebook - as well as other social media - can be a valuable & effective marketing tool, as well as a wonderful interpersonal tool for establishing & enhancing personal relationships.

However, if used the wrong way, it can be...well....messy.

I've sometimes received a "friend request", and I am seriously scratching my head, thinking, "Who the heck IS this person?! Do I even KNOW them??!!" And I've been "defriended" - and left wondering, "What the heck did I do? Or say? Couldn't they have at least TALKED with me before defriending me??!"

But I've defriended people, myself - nothing personal; sometimes, I just eventually realize that we either have nothing in common, or I really didn't know the person and why clutter up my already-way-too-cluttered "wall" on Facebook?

On my personal page, I try to keep my posts upbeat...positive...affirming....No reason to be a "Debbie Downer" all of the time, although, there will certainly be days when I'm in a pissy mood, dammit, and you're going to hear about it. Sorry about that. I try not to let that happen very often.

I also assist in administering a "fan" page for our local Red Cross chapter - and I try to post timely, informative posts that lets our followers know what our chapter is well as what THEY can be doing to be prepared for disasters.

I have ran into people in the world that "hate" Facebook...I'm not sure why. I like to engage them in a civil debate on the pitfalls of the social medium, as I am most definitely a cheerleader.

There's really no purpose for this post...other than I've just been thinking about Facebook, due to the movie, and because of my awesome lunch today. I'm just curious as to what other people think - and why they think the way they do.

So - if you choose to respond & comment - let me know if you think Facebook is a friend or foe...and why. I'd love to hear from you!



1 comment:

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Like with most other things, it depends on how you use it, I guess. My life has been much richer for the friends I re-discovered on FB. And I also needed to talk to some people to get rid of ghosts in my mind.

BUT, it can be misused. And misunderstandings can arise, specially when two people from very differnet friend sets inteact on a mutual friends wall.

Overall, the benefits outweigh the negatives.