A Case for Facebook
“Ugh, Facebook’s down again.” “Facebook steals my privacy.” “Why do people even like social media – it’s useless.” “I’m never going to use Facebook.” These are all quotes I’ve heard across the years from friends, family and people in my technology classes. But today, I’m going to make a case for Facebook.
Today is my birthday. And yes, I partied like it was my birthday, although apologies to Fifty as I did not sip Bacardi like it was birthday. (Beer, bourbon and pear martinis yes, Bacardi no.)
One of the interesting parts about social media, and Facebook in particular, is the onslaught of messages you get from friends, family and work acquaintances as prompts come from the medium to wish you a happy birthday. Some even use apps – several EasilyDos were posted today on Facebook, I noticed, which was 100% more than last year.
Yes, Facebook gets vilified for a lot of things – randomly changing its Timeline, screwing with privacy policies in the middle of a Tuesday, capturing and selling people’s data, forcing people into their Messenger app, or OMG-The-Worst, actually being offline.
And I understand and accept people having issues with all of those things, or making statements like those mentioned at the beginning.
Facebook is there for you to use for free.
Facebook helps you connect.
And really, it’s all about connecting, in the easiest and most convenient fashion possible. When I was growing up, there might be a few card in the mailbox, and maybe even a sleepover with local friends. But times have changed. I currently live up to 9,000 miles away from some of my closest friends – short of expensive mail services and one hell of a plane trip, I can’t share my big day with some of my nearest and dearest anymore.
No matter where I am in the world, I can get messages and feel the love from people scattered around the globe. Not only that, but Facebook has introduced me to new people, allowed me to start discussions that would be more awkward in person and reconnected me with friends I’d lost to the ravages of moving over 30 times in 36 years. It’s hard for someone like me to pick up a phone and randomly call someone; not so difficult, however, to message someone out of the blue and see how they are.
Maybe Facebook is evil, maybe Facebook is secretly stealing our souls…but Facebook is sometimes the shining beacon in a dark, isolated night when you start to question the whole “no man is an island thing.” By nature, we are communal beings, and Facebook provides us that community even when we can’t be physically present.
And that’s my case for Facebook.