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Why I Love Facebook
Facebook takes a lot of flack, so I thought it was time to sing its praises. Here are 10 things I love about Facebook:
1. Humans do curious things. On Facebook I find out not just what people do, but what they think! I've always been fascinated by human behavior (writers tend to be that way) and there's this whole swarming Petri dish right in from of me, chock full of random thoughts ranging from what someone had for breakfast (much more popular post than dinner) to angst about a crisis, to hey, look what I did.
2. Music. I get a little stuck in classic rock and jazz and then I see that someone's excited about a group that is nowhere near my radar. So then I get to go to MySpace or cdbaby and check out a whole new sound, maybe get turned on to something I really like.
3. Ghosts. Maybe it's a classmate from high school, or a writer I worked with way back when, but people from the past just kind of pop up out of nowhere. Isn't it fun to see what they look like now?
4. Baby pictures. If you've never had kids you may not appreciate other people's progeny, but I love watching the little guys morph into humans on their parents' Facebook pages. This is especially fun when they are related to me.
5. Travel photos. Like National Geographic but featuring your "friends" instead of some real strangers you'll for sure never meet.
6. Great links. Just this week I got pointed to the archives of This American Life. I could easily have found it myself, but never thought to look.
7. Pals. I live alone for part of the year and sit in front of a computer all day (notice my choice of verb), so just knowing that I can tune in and connect with people 24/7 is pretty cool. As Taylor Swift croons in "Love Story," her soppy paean to teen love, "Juliet marry me, you'll never have to be alone." Terrible reason to get married, but if you're ever feeling lonely, going on Facebook takes off the edge. (I know, I know, not cool to say you ever feel lonely. Oh well, there you have it.)
8. Story ideas. Wait, wait, don't unfriend me! I'm not writing about your life, these ideas generally come from links people post rather than from anyone's life. Now if I worked in the fiction arena, some of those juicy tidbits might be more at risk... but I don't.
9. When you want space, it's easy to make Facebook go away. There's none of that awkardness that happens when you're just exhausted and your friends don't notice you struggling not to yawn, or someone's on the phone yakking about an office incident and you have this nagging deadline.
10. Community. Facebook is just like the kibbutz I once picked oranges on—I didn't have to wear makeup there either. Seriously, though, it does feel like some kind of loosely knit, eclectic community. Someone puts out a distress call, people respond. Someone needs a connection, it is proffered. And since all my friends are more or less hand-picked, I can be pretty sure that nobody is going to post an endorsement of, say, the former governor of Alaska. And even if someone does? Oh yeah, there is that unfriend option.