Just as recent as two years ago, my mother laughed at me for suggesting she join Facebook. Many other mothers did the same. Today, however, they are also members. My parents are two of my “friends,” as are their friends, many of whom I’ve never actually met. Facebook has literally changed the entire world.
Gone are the days when we rush to develop pictures to show at the family reunion. Now, we just quickly upload them to Facebook, so that all our friends and family can “like” them. Be honest, how many times have you heard or said, “that BETTER not go on Facebook!”
Facebook has also become a platform, not just a social network. Scroll down your news feed. Of course there are the standard dinner menu posts, the weekend itinerary posts, the pictures of your friend’s children playing sports…but what else? In my news feed today, I saw several political posts, ways to donate to charities, local news, national news, spoilers for my favorite shows, a Bible verse, how to be more green, some sports recaps, movie show times, recipes, contests, and of course, product advertising.
Shy people no longer have to fear public speaking since Facebook came along. They can now get their point across without nervous sweating or picturing their audience nude. Now, they simply make it a status, or share someone else’s. Your friends on Facebook aren’t just people you know, they are also your audience.
Social media has become a way of life for all ages, not just the younger generation. Truth be told, it’s also a way to learn. Many people today actually get their news from Facebook. I can personally account for posting news stories, and getting an “are you serious? When did this happen?” response. Don’t worry, it wasn’t that we put a man on the moon…but it may as well have been. We have become so linked into our digital world, that many times the real world slips by us unnoticed.
This is not always a bad thing. Betty White is assuredly grateful for the refreshed popularity she is currently experiencing. Betty has been entertaining us since 1939. With over 70 years under her belt, she certainly did not need Facebook’s influence….but she got it. After the end of the Golden Girls, Betty had not been a prevalent name or face in our everyday life. Thanks to a Facebook page, however, she’s everywhere. A page set up in her honor, requesting that she host Saturday Night Live, accomplished that very thing. Several thousand facebook users joined the page, spread it around like wild-fire, and poof…Betty was hosting.
Police use Facebook as one of the first resources to check when researching a criminal. After Japan suffered the giant earthquake earlier this year, people all over the world used the website to find missing survivors. Long lost siblings have used Facebook to find each other, as have mothers and children once separated by adoptions. Military spouses can stay in touch through Facebook as they never could before, and grandparents can watch their grandkids grow from across the globe. Needless to say, businesses can (and do) profit from the social community. Not joining Facebook in our day is like not having a toothbrush… it’s simply unheard of.
The bottom line is that Facebook has changed our world. While not 100% of people are a part of that community, it’s quickly headed in that direction. If you aren’t using Facebook, the only question is, why not?