Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why I Love Facebook

Okay, I admit it. I’m an addict. I got onto Facebook several years ago when a marketing pro said that, as authors, we had to have a visible web presence including a website, Twitter, My Space, Facebook, etc. I’ve since all but abandoned My Space and only occasionally tweet, but I’m very active on Facebook. Why?

1. I’ve reconnected with family members I haven’t seen for many years, including one cousin I’d never met. We’ve formed new bonds, which would have been impossible without this resource. In comparing notes, all of us have learned a great deal about our shared history.
2. I’ve found old friends. I’m now in touch with grammar school and high school pals, most of whom I haven’t seen since graduation. I had lunch with two of them a week ago, and we had the best time! I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
3. It’s a great way of spreading important news. Recently the daughter of our friends died unexpectedly and much too young. She was my friend on Facebook. So as soon as I got the word, I posted the news to her page. What a great forum for sharing our collective shock and grief. Many of her friends and family left notes and remembrances. I was able to publish the time and date of her service, and the turnout was overwhelming. Her folks were able to post their thanks there as well as the information about a memorial fund created for her sons. All of this contact would have been impossible using normal methods.
4. We can share common experiences – positive and negative. When my friends experience a special event, I know about it and can celebrate with them. When there is difficulty, I can experience that as well. Many calls for prayer have been shared as well as births, deaths, and everything in between.
5. I can remain in touch with former coworkers. Most of the companies I’ve worked for no longer exist, but many colleagues from those firms are my friends on Facebook. Several of those organizations were like extended families. We grieved the loss of the companies, but even more, we grieved the loss of those treasured daily relationships. By seeing the posts from each other, we can maintain a sense of connectedness. Sharing recent photos and events makes it seem as though we’ve never been separated.
6. We can share history. A couple of the sites I enjoy are those established for those of us who attended the same high school and grew up in the same town. The shared memories and photos really bring back wonderful memories. Photos and information are posted about friends, neighbors, and classmates who are lost, and we can share our special memories of them.
7. Keeping our fans aware of our current writing projects. We send announcements of the publication of our books to our mailing list, but we are able to let our friends know about our progress on our current work through Facebook. It is a long time between new books, but we can keep interest active by reminding our readers of what they can look forward to in the near future.

Social networks have revolutionized how we interact with each other by providing immediate connection never before possible. I, for one am delighted to have this means of connecting with friends.

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