For three years I felt guilty every time a friend would send me a Facebook request and I would delete it. No phone call, no explanation…I pushed delete and moved on with my busy life. Creating a profile on Facebook seemed a little juvenile and a distraction that I didn’t need in my life. Then I had a big fat greek wedding and everyone wanted to see pictures. My daughter created my Facebook profile so that it would be easy for my family and friends to see the photos. I opened my profile for the world to see (there was nothing there but wedding pictures) and got back to my life.
Over the last nine months I have spent an average of 10 minutes a day on Facebook. My perspective has changed significantly. I have become keenly aware of many reasons to use Facebook. I thought I’d share some with you…
1. It allows me to connect and reconnect with friends, many of whom I do not have time to keep up with. Recently I saw a post from a friend explaining that her son was in the hospital. We’re not close enough that I would have known if it were not for Facebook.
2. It keeps my contacts up to date. If someone changes their e-mail address, etc. I can always find their profile and e-mail them through Facebook. It is easy to create groups. Invite groups to functions, etc.
3. It allows me to find people I would never find otherwise. I recently managed the database for our 30 year class reunion. It was easy to track old classmates down through Facebook.
4. It allows you to stay in touch with your children. My daughters are 25 and 28. We’re super close but sometimes I find out they are having a bad day through Facebook. We all live in different cities. I get to see photos. I get to see videos of my grandkids. It’s the best.
5. It allows people to see the personal side of me. None of us are “all business.” It is easier to build relationships with people if they see you as a father, church member, baseball freak, etc. Life is about relationships. I am a happier human because I take time to be in relationships (doesn’t come naturally for me).
6. It makes business sense. I put this reason last because it can not be your sole reason for creating a Facebook profile. Philippians 2:3 says, “Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” Idiots who build relationships solely for person gain are transparent. People aren’t stupid. Social networking gives me an opportunity to authentically be in tune to what is going on in others lives.
In case you still think Facebook is for kids, here are some statistics:
As of March 2009, the number of people over the age of 35 on Facebook had DOUBLED within the last sixty days.
As of March 2009, the fastest growing demographic was women over age 55.
As of February 2009, 56% of all users were women, 44% men.
I have used it to brainstorm with people and promote events. I choose not to play games, poke people or send roses through Facebook (although I like getting them). Assuming you are disciplined enough to not become addicted to Facebook, here’s some pointers:
For more information – www.lauraharris.com -Laura’s newsletters (issue 9)