I have started using Facebook, almost from the start, late of 2004 or early 2005, as I recall! At first, Facebook it was a reference in a study for a project I was involved, aiming, among other things, to the social aspects of networks of the time (as IT people we collectively labeled all these services as VAS – Value Added Services, i.e. services developed over the existing networks!). Later, I have involved more actively with Facebook, for personal and professional use. I saw it as an extra channel of communication and as a place that had the potential to enhance the collaboration and the interaction among people since it was in favor of peer group dynamics and connections!
What Facebook Is Not
Facebook, today, after over 10 years of operation, is a fraction of our social life expressed, in a digital form. And it has become an integral part of the social life of many people. It is a place you can find and associate with your friends, but it is something even bigger. It is a micro-society by its own merit, with its own rules and own standards!
Facebook, though, is seldom used as a tool and medium by millions of people, but rather as an advanced way of communication (an exchange place for digital impressions with people interested us) or chat.
What Facebook Really Is
Facebook is not a neutral medium, nor a place for casual “encounters” as the physical interactions are. It is a meeting place, a place for connection and chats with your friends and associates, it is a collaboration tool, a marketplace, a promotion mechanism, a marketing tool, a platform, a game and application sphere, a transaction center, and many more things! Facebook, in fact, is a lot of things!
Ultimately, it is a place of full interaction with large capabilities for developing better yourself and approach more efficiently your goals. As a social platform and medium (in the McLuhan sense, i.e. something that expands your capabilities) it is extremely efficient if you know what you are doing.
Its digital nature does not negate its reality, but rather enhance it, via the magnifying glass of a number of its subscribers and of the things you can find and indulge yourself within it.
Facebook, for instance, provides a platform for introvert people (having trouble in the physical interaction) to overcome their obstacles and express socially themselves. And as such mechanism, Facebook (along with the other social networks, as Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) provides a forum for the people, to express better their self, to communicate and collaborate more effectively their messages, to promote and propagate their ideas, etc.
It is just that. Facebook is not THE society, even though sometimes we choose to neglect that. Is a part of our present social ecosystem and our digital presence (as the physical one!) cannot be left unattended, nor can be treated casually in our “spare” time!
What Facebook Can Teach You
As a part of a large now digital ecosystem of social networks, Facebook, can provide us with valuable lessons, for everyone to employ in his/her everyday life.
Lessons like that:
- Your Physical Presence and your Digital Presence have equal value and equally can provide advantages and disadvantages either to your business or to your personal level
- The digital nature of a medium does not negate its reality or the effects of our digital presence in the real world (positive or negative!)
- Our participation in Facebook (and in the social media in general) does not lift our responsibility and our accountability to our actions
- The easiness of the contact and of the connection does not negate our responsibility towards the limits of the other people nor provide us the right to intrude to their lives without an invitation.
- Many more …
The fact is, that as it is in the real society, in the Facebook and in the other Social Networks you should always pay attention and respect yourself, the rules existed, the customs, the other people, the communities, and the total of the social digital ecosystem now you are inhabited in. Just as you should do in “real” society (if not more)!
Question: What Facebook can teach you? How Do you use Facebook and the other social networks in your personal and professional life? What can Facebook teach you with more clarity? Please share with us your thoughts on what Facebook can teach you?