A few months ago I started a profile on Facebook. It seemed like everyone I knew was on there and I felt left out. I didn't have the first clue what it was all about. It took some time to learn and appreciate, but I enjoy Facebook now. Even my mom and grandma are part of this new wave of friendship. I was trying to explain the benefits of joining FB to my uncle and he was totally not convinced. I thought there might be .02% of the population who is still in the dark about FB, so here are the basic details:
First you set up a profile which includes your full name and any information you want to share with your friends. The nice thing about FB, unlike a blog, is that no one can look at your information unless you accept each person as a friend -- this is done through email. You will also want to add a picture so that people can see who you are. Profiles without pictures really bug me. Strangers can see your name and picture, but nothing else unless you authorize it.
Once you set up your profile you can start finding friends. To do this you can search a person's name and then scroll through the profile pictures until you recognize a face. I was pretty nervous about asking people to be my friend, so I started with the basic family members who I was certain would not reject me. Let me tell you, it is sunshine to my introverted heart to get an email from FB saying, "So-n-so has accepted you as a friend," or "So-n-so wants to be your friend." You can accept or decline friendships because some people just want to amass the biggest friend groups known to mankind and they don't really know you (or want to). I once got a request from a Juan Ewert in Mexico. Sadly, I rejected Juan and I hope he wasn't too hurt, but I had no idea who he was. And that last name doesn't get you very far. There are great friend connections though too. Just today I connected with a friend from college who was such a blessing to me through my Greek studies and my disastrous year as an RA. It's great to catch up with people like that.
Once you have your basic friend group, from family to friends from childhood and current acquaintances, you can share information about yourself and hear about them. You can share random information like, "What are you doing right now?"
Yesterday I was wishing for a vacation. I shared that with my friend group and they scrolled through the information along with updates on all their other friends. They may or may not care, but it takes a lot less time to get an update about a person on FB than it does on a blog where you have to click on each person's page and hope they updated. There are also games to play and share, polls to take, surveys to complete, instant messaging to do, and pictures to upload. You can also comment on your friends' status, pictures, or just write them a note (like a comment).
I still prefer my blog over FB, so don't worry that I am going to escape into my limited friend group and never post again. If you are here and want to be my friend on Facebook, go ahead and look me up. I will accept you as a friend, really truly. Unless you are Juan Ewert and then, I'm sorry.
Do you participate in FB? If yes, why? And if you are still not among us, why not?