10 Ways Facebook Uniquely Impacts Lives - dummies

10 Ways Facebook Uniquely Impacts Lives

By Carolyn Abram

Sometimes people are dismissive of Facebook, saying, “I keep up with friends by calling them and visiting them. I don’t need a website to do that for me.” And you don’t need a website to do that for you. However, Facebook can supplement your existing relationships in very real ways. Here are some ways that maintaining a friendship on Facebook can have big impacts in the real world.

Keep in touch with summer friends on Facebook

Not just for you, but for thousands of high school students, the best-friends-for-the-summer — who had a tendency to fade away as school and life took over — are now a thing of the past. Camp friends immediately become Facebook friends, and on Facebook, no one gets lost. Plus, it’s easy to share the memories of a fun summer via Facebook Photos.

Prepare for school on Facebook

There are special groups on Facebook for colleges and universities that only students and faculty can join. As soon as incoming freshmen receive their .edu e-mail addresses, they can join this group and start connecting with other students. As they get to know the people in the group, they may find that by the time they arrive on campus, they already know some people.

Instead of wandering into the great unknown, college students go off to school having been introduced to their future roommates, classmates, and friends.

Go on not-so-blind dates with Facebook

Ever been a matchmaker? Ever been embarrassed because you didn’t realize just how picky your friend was until after the date? Enter Facebook. Now, “He’s smart, funny, has a great job, lots of cool hobbies, a nice family, and nice friends” can be condensed into a Facebook message with a shared Timeline. From there, both parties can decide based on the Timelines, whether they want to go on a date.

Meet people in your new city on Facebook

Heading off to college isn’t the only time in people’s lives that they find themselves someplace new without a lot of friends. But active Facebook users often find that there are many ways Facebook can help alleviate the confusion.

Facebook makes moving less of an ordeal — a neighborhood is waiting for you when you arrive.

Reconnect with old friends on Facebook

Long-lost friends. The one who got away. Have you heard about him? These are just some of the ways people talk about the people they somehow lost track of along the way. Whatever the reason for the loss, this sort of regret can be undone on Facebook. Finding people is easy, and getting in touch is, too.

Keep up with the ’rents…or the kids on Facebook

Keeping your parents in touch with everything that’s going on is difficult. However often you speak, it sometimes feels as though you’re forgetting something or you don’t have enough time to truly catch up.

Facebook Photos is one of the best ways to easily and quickly share your life with your parents. Because you can upload photos so quickly — both from your mobile phone and from your computer — they can feel as though they are a part of your adventure. And of course this can happen in the other direction as well: Parents post photos of their own adventures in the world.

Facebook networking

If you’ve ever found yourself job hunting, you probably are acquainted with the real-world version of networking. You ask friends for their friends’ numbers and job titles; you take people out to coffee; you go on interviews; you decide whether the company is right for you.

Although finding the right job hasn’t gotten any easier with Facebook, a lot of the intermediate steps have. Asking your friends for their friends’ info is as easy as posting a status. You can also search for people who work at companies that interest you, and see if you have any mutual friends who can introduce you.

Be aware that content on your page could make a bad first impression.

Facebook for freedom

If you were watching news articles about the Arab Spring sweeping through the Middle East in early 2011, you have heard frequent references to Facebook and Twitter. Young people in Egypt did a lot of their communication and coordination through Facebook. Although Facebook wasn’t the source for the revolution, it was an invaluable tool in making the revolution successful.

Facebook has always been impressive at gaining support for important causes. Whether it’s a monk-led protest in Myanmar, raising money to support Haiti after the devastating earthquake, or a massive rally in Colombia denouncing a terrorist organization, Facebook lets ideas spread from friend to friend. Sometimes groups are the tools used, sometimes it’s encouraging people to change their profile pictures in support of their cause.

Facebook your relationship

A small bit of Facebook trivia: There has, in many circles, arisen the idea of Facebook Official (FBO) — the act of moving from single to in a relationship and listing the person that you’re in a relationship with on your Timeline. For any fledgling couple, this is a big deal for their personal lives.

Because of this relationship function, Facebook has become the fastest way to spread a wedding announcement to extended friend groups. Of course, people still call their parents and their closest friends, but everyone can find out and share in the happiness via News Feed.

Hey, Facebook Me!

Before Facebook, in both romantic and platonic contexts, it was hard to get from “Nice to meet you” to “Will you be my friend?” Now, the simple phrase, “Facebook me!” expresses this sentiment. It’s a way to acknowledge a budding friendship.

“Facebook me!” can also be how good friends say, “Keep up with my life; I want you to know about it,” which acknowledges that people are busy and that it’s difficult to find time to see each other or talk on the phone. However, a quick check on Facebook can make you feel connected again.