Anyone who has read this blog regularly knows that I have complained several times in its pages about Facebook. To sum up those complaints, Facebook has made a habit of making changes that its users do not want and then refusing to do away with those changes no matter how loudly its users protest. That having been said, the past few days I have been reminded of some of the positive things about Facebook, things which in the end do outweigh the often distasteful changes the site makes.
Indeed, perhaps the chief advantage of Facebook is that it does allow individuals to stay in touch. This became readily apparent to my co-workers and myself as our office was made redundant. While many of us (my Number Two Best Friend and those who live in the same time as myself) would have no problem staying in touch, there are others who lived elsewhere in which keeping contact would be a problem. Facebook was then offered as a solution. Those of us with Facebook accounts added each other as friends if we had not already done so and many of those who did not have Facebooks then got them. Ultimately Facebook will allow a very closely knit group of former co-workers to stay in touch.
Of course, another advantage, and one which Facebook for some bizarre reason seems to discourage, is meeting new people. Some of my closest friends of recent years I have met through Facebook. Given that they live in such distant places as England, Australia, and New Zealand, it is safe to say that I would not have met them if not for Facebook. These friendships have enriched my life greatly and I value them as much as those I have with people I have met in person. Beyond personal relationships Facebook has also proven to be a very good networking people. Through Facebook I have met people who could potentially be of help in my writing career. Many of my friends are also writers, while others are publishers, and editors.
Beyond creating personal relationships and being a good networking tool, Facebook has given me an opportunity to interact with famous people I would never have dreamed of being able to do so. I have discussed classic films with comic book legend Fred Hembeck and joked around with actress and writer Jewel Shepard. I have become close enough to some comic book professionals that I consider them friends.
Over all, these advantages outweigh the irritation of Facebook making changes that its users do not want. In fact, it is because of these advantages that I often grow so angry with Facebook making changes that reduce the site's usefulness and the user's enjoyment. Facebook is a great tool for staying in touch with old friends and making new ones. Unfortunately, the changes the site often makes detract from the site's usefulness. And I fear that if Facebook continues making changes, its usefulness will ultimately come to and end. Regardless, as Facebook is right now it does have is advantages. At least I know I can stay in touch with my former co-workers. r