- It has allowed me to get back in touch with people from high school and college. This has probably been the best part of Facebook.
- I can keep up to date on people's lives, from pics of kids, to where they went this past weekend, to what they are doing this very second.
- I can reach a lot of people at once. Approximately five minutes after I was laid off, I updated my status to read "Faith just got the ax." Within 15 minutes, I received a ton of sympathetic comments, a few personal emails, and a phone call. This saved me a lot of trouble of sending out emails to friends. Since bad news travel fasts, I also received friendship requests from a half dozen people within the hour, mostly former coworkers who had heard the news because I was friends with their friends.
- There are a ton of silly, pointless quizzes, some of which are kind of fun, especially the ones about friends. Who knew a friend from high school has been married three time? Not me, at least not until I took the quiz about her.
- You can be a fan of almost anything. Another silly thing about Facebook, but it is a interesting to see what people like and to see what you have in common with friends and strangers alike.
- You get to see a side of some people you might not have known. Sometimes this side is a little odd or unexpected, but most of the time it is what it is.
But Facebook has its drawbacks too. There are just some things about it that I either don't get or I just can't stand. For instance:
- I think the term "friend" is used too loosely. I wish you could add "contacts" instead. Some people who have asked me to be their friend I barely remember. I am pretty sure I have never even talked to some of them.
- Sometimes it feels like high school, the part I don't miss. I am so concerned about hurting a person's feelings that I have yet to reject a friendship request. In some cases, I am friends with people I am not sure I ever talked to. I wonder why these people bothered to friend me. Just to have a lot of "friends" for the sake of a big number? And in some cases, these people have never sent me a message, written on my wall, or commented on anything I have posted. So why did they want to be my friend to begin with?
- When you have too many friends, it becomes hard to keep up. I have over 100 friends. I did not want that many; 50 would have been fine, but I have not turned any request down, for fear of hurting someone's feelings (see my previous point). But now I have to keep scrolling down on the off chance I may miss a good update from someone. It happened to me when I announced I was laid off; some of my friends missed that post and then had no idea what subsequent posts were about.
- Some of the requests people send are annoying or questionable. With Facebook you can send people drinks, flowers, etc. I go along with some of those and ignore most. But when a guy friend asked me to lick his lollipop, I drew the line there. I did not want a comment posted that read "Faith just licked Aaron's lollipop." I don't think he meant anything by it, but if I were his wife and read that post, I would not have been happy.
- Facebook is addictive and a huge time suck. Enough said.
I think it is funny how different generations use Facebook. I have a few young "friends" on Faceboook who just graduated from PSU this month. Unlike a lot of my same-aged friends, they are rarely on FB; a status update for them usually means telling everyone about a party or a fraternity event. For most of my friends, we write about what we are doing or just did, and more often than not it is about kids or current events.
I suppose I will continue to stay on Facebook, at least until the job search kicks into high gear. I have my profile set so only friends can see it, but you just never know...