Facebook buzz has reached a fever pitch this week as everyone's favorite (or most detested) social network launches its initial public offering tomorrow. Some have questioned the skyrocketing value of Facebook, and plenty of others have questioned whether it has any merit at all and is not simply a collossal time dump. This article at CNN today discusses why one tech columnist won't be ditching Facebook any time soon. I thought I'd chime in with my own take on that topic:
Facebook has helped me to remain connected with my loved ones, including my college son Eric. I love seeing the family photos and brief updates that fill my feed -- they make the miles that separate me from much of my family feel less daunting.
Facebook has been a tremendous support to my writing. In the penning of my first book, I turned to my Facebook friends every morning with a topic for discussion. Much of their commentary either edified or directly landed in the finished version of the book. That trend has continued not only with my second book, but also with my radio and television work and my daily blogging.
Facebook has become my scrapbook. Let's face it, those stacks of digital photos that fill my hard drive are likely never going to be printed and placed in cute pages surrounded by journaling and stickers. With Facebook, I have a virtual record of my adventures and a way to relive my many journeys.
Facebook is my virtual water cooler. As someone who works from home, I know the occasional isolation of working without colleagues. Facebook gives me someplace to explore ideas, seek input, celebrate accomplishments and frankly just to sometimes goof off.
I'll be the first to admit that Facebook has its downsides too -- I've burned more than one dinner while engaged in a lively comment discussion and have probably squandered some hours that should have been spent more productively. But for the most part, I'd say that the time I spend on Facebook enhances the quality of my life. Used in moderation, it's a tool, a toy and a treasure.
Will you be quitting Facebook to protest the IPO or as an effort to be more productive?