Friday, April 17, 2009

Social Media: FACEBOOK

Four months ago, I was reluctant to join Facebook.  I thought it was a waste of time.  What little I knew about Myspace has tarnished my impression of all the other Social Media out there in cyberspace.  So what made me become a member of Facebook?  I received  20+ e-mails from people I haven't heard from in over 10 years.  It was a request to join Facebook.  My curiosity got the best of me.

Now, I am a fan of Facebook.  It's a great way to stay connected with people you don't normally keep in touch with.  One friend said it best, "It's like cyberstalking.  You can peek into the lives of people- read what they're doing, what they're thinking, and browse through their photo albums without them knowing."  

I wasn't an immediate fan of Facebook.  When I first joined, I was a closet user.  I would not take the time to go search for a friend.  But I would accept you as a friend if you befriended me.  That makes me sound like a snobby-user, doesn't it.   Anyway, I was embarrassed about being a Facebook user.

I thought that Facebook was a waste of time.  I could spend an hour just browsing people's wall, and all for what?  I could've used that hour to write.  I've always been the productive type and  to say that I am a user of Facebook defies my persona.  I decided I needed to make Facebook more useful to me.  I had an idea.

Facebook is great for classified ads!  I'm getting ready to send out my package to a publisher for my article on Philippine Jeepneys.  The one thing that is missing is a really good jeepney photo. So I made the request.  On my wall, I wrote on my status update:  "I am looking for a picture of a Philippine Jeepney.  I need original photos taken by you and not something out of Google images.  The gaudier the jeepney, the better.  If you have them, please send me an e-mail.  I'd really appreciate it.  Thanks for your help."

Within minutes, I got a couple of responses.   I got exactly what I needed and was very pleased.  I realized that I can really use Facebook to my advantage.  I can request photos, ideas, and a number of things that could be useful to my writing and research.  I could also use it to search for "experts" of whatever it is I'm writing about.  It's great!  Now I can validate my decision to join Facebook.   If people question my choice in joining Facebook, I can say that I use it for research.  But don't get me wrong.  I still think that it can be a waste of time, unless you use it to your advantage.  So let your social network help you!

"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely." ~Rodin

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