EDITOR’S NOTE: This essay was original written on April 24, 2015
If you’re my Facebook friend and don’t know me well, you might think I don’t have a job and am constantly wasting time on Facebook. I’m on there a lot, and I’m not a lurker. I’m posting and commenting at a rapid pace. In reality, I’m usually only there for a few minutes while something on my computer is uploading or I’m eating lunch.
I’m a social animal, so I have a love of Facebook that not all possess. But, while it may appear that I’m just wasting time on Facebook building traffic for the social media giant, I’m actually doing important, organic networking.
While many people use Facebook as a replacement for in-person human interaction, I use it as a supplement and a facilitation tool. I have met many people for the first time in real life after first becoming their Facebook friend. I’d much rather have coffee than chat on Facebook. But since many of my friends live far away, Facebook makes it possible for me to keep in touch until I can be within hugging distance of them again.
I’ve experienced some cool things using Facebook. Here are just a few of them:
- Sold a car that people actually fought over
- Found an internship during my master’s degree
- Was lent a laptop from a stranger during a crucial time in my master’s degree
- Was offered a place to stay during a trip to NYC
- Met someone I was in a relationship with for 6 years
- Matched up various business people for collaborations
- Met someone who is now one of my closest friends
- Promoted my hometown
- Gotten answers to endless questions I’ve had from people who actually know the answers
- Given answers to questions from others
- Gotten personal referrals for service providers
- Learned of births, deaths and marriages that I might not otherwise have known about
- Promoted my website design business
- Gotten solid business leads from others who suggest me as a web developer when one of their friends is looking
- Learned about world events as they were happening
- Learned about new businesses in my area
- Shared important posts for friends or organizations
- Posted hundreds upon hundreds of uplifting quotes
- Posted hundreds upon hundreds of supportive comments on the posts of others. (This is one of my favorite things to do on Facebook.)
- Made people laugh
- Shared my pain to sympathetic ears
- Been asked out on a date
- Learned the correct way to fold a fitted sheet
- Promoted my writing and fun pet projects
While there are times when I’m simply scrolling the news feed on Facebook, I’m also indirectly nurturing a network with which I can give and receive when the need arises.