Five Reasons Facebook is Good For Your Soul

I just came off a panel discussion with writers Greg Atwan and Tom Hodgkinson on BBC World’s ‘World Have Your Say’ talk show. The topic: does Facebook improve our lives?

The discussion touched upon several topics. We discussed how governments, businesses and individuals can use Facebook in good, bad and ugly ways. We talked about reasons why Facebook is the most popular social networking platform in the world. We also touched upon some fascinating conspiracy theories from Tom on why Facebook is evil.

I believe that Facebook is indeed good for your soul and here are five reasons why –

1. The Facebook activity feed enables an ambient awareness of your social circle. Even if your friends are scattered across five continents, you can keep up with their lives on Facebook. So, when you meet again, you feel as if you were never really out of touch with each other.

2. The boundaries between your online and offline lives have blurred. If you meet someone interesting at a party or a conference, you are likely to friend them on Facebook, and get to know them better, so a chance encounter is more likely to result in real friendship. Similarly, if you meet someone interesting on your blog or Twitter, then friend them on Facebook, you are likely to meet them in real life and sometimes become close friends.

3. Even your closest friends get a more well-rounded picture of you on Facebook. When you meet your friends offline, you are likely to talk about some topics, but not others, based on what the context of the conversation is. On Facebook, however, you are likely to reveal more sides of your personality and talk about what you are reading, watching, listening to, feeling or thinking about. So, your friends get to see sides of you they haven’t seen before.

4. On Facebook, you choose to share what you want to and with whom. The Facebook privacy settings are the most comprehensive of all social networking platforms and give you granular control of who can see which parts of your profile and activity stream. If you don’t want your school classmate to see what you are doing, you can only share a limited profile with him, or even unfriend him.

5. Finally, Facebook is great for discovering interesting friends of friends, especially with the new privacy settings. If you and I share a common friend, we are also likely to share at least some common interests. Services like Thread enable you to discover interesting people who are friends of your friends and even let you ask your common friend to make the introduction. If you are single, you know where to find your next date.

How has Facebook improved you life? Do share interesting anecdotes in the comments below.

Cross-posted at 2020 Social: Because Business is Social.

As CEO of 2020 Social, I build and nurture online communities for Indian and international clients, connect their customers, partners and employees, and help them achieve their business objectives. Ask us how we can help you.

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