Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Geography Lesson... sort of

My church is in the midst of a building program. We’re by no means a large church, but we’ve outgrown some of our facilities and have a plan in place to add more room. The minister said the architect told the building committee that in some mega-churches 50% of the attendees may not actually see the minister face-to-face. They might see him or her projected on a screen in another part of the church complex.

And some folks attend church in their pajamas by watching online. The minister even tempted us with a couple websites if we didn’t believe people attended church
online – and, which is the Virtual Church of the Blind Chihuahua. Honest. The preacher wouldn’t lie.

Then he made a statement that really surprised me. He said if Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest country in the world after China and India.


I jotted down that factoid on my bulletin and when I got home I used my mad Google skillz to find out more. Here’s what I learned:

~ The Kingdom of Facebook has 400 million users.
~ 50% of active users log in on any given day.
~ 35 million update their status daily.
~ 3 billion photos are uploaded each month.
~ The average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook.
~ It’s available in more than 70 languages.
~ 70% of users are outside the U.S.

We are becoming an increasingly online society. I can pay my rent online, pay my bills through online banking, order all sorts of household, food and gift items through websites and chat realtime with folks on the other side of the earth.

The art of social networking (most commonly Facebook and Twitter) is being taught in writers workshops around the globe as a tool for writers to connect with their readers.

But I started wondering why non-writers used Facebook. So I did a little informal, unscientific poll and asked a randomly selected group of my Facebook friends the question “Why?” Here are their answers.

I decided to get on Facebook to see pictures of friends' grandkids. Now I keep up with friends & family in at least 10 states! I try not to get on too often 'cause I stay too long.

Yes, it’s a definite time suck. I’m one of those who looks at photos of friends’ grandkids and wonders how we all got old enough to even have grandkids.

I originally joined facebook to keep up with family and college friends. I then branched out to writers and other readers I'd met on blogs. I stay on facebook so I know what is going on with all my friends and family(only way I get updated pictures of cousins, nieces, and nephews). I also keep up with my hometown through facebook and church events through facebook.

Last year I reconnected with a group of my high school classmates. Our 40th reunion was held last fall and while I wasn’t able to attend, it was great to see how the years have treated all of us. I even had one classmate guest blog. You might remember
Molly and her blog about her tea shop.

To reacquaint myself with long lost school/classmates, to keep up with family and friends.....and I think you must have a bit of voyeurism in you to read posts....

I had to laugh at this one, especially considering the friend it came from. The voyeurism comment is just like her. But it’s probably true – I know I've peeped through the Facebook windows into people’s lives.

I use Facebook as a tool to reconnect to old friends and people that I use to know in the past. It it wonderful seeing how they have changed, seeing their families and grandchildren. Also knowing what they are doing with their life. I DO NOT use FB for such "games" like Farmtown, sending hearts, hugs, bears..etc...that is silly to me and opens a door for malware on my computer. It does amaze me how some people want to tell everything that is going on in their lives, and that is a huge 'turn-off' to me....I don't want DETAILS on EVERYTHING they do LOL LOL

Hope you are doing good and you are one of the people from my past that I had always wondered glad we reconnected.

I have noticed that when I go out in public..I see FACES of those I see on Facebook!

I wanted to add to my last message that I find that FB can be and IS addicting! Sometimes I find myself checking out FB when my time does NOT permit..I do it anyway. I have to 'test' myself from time to time just to see If I can stay off FB and FB usually wins! LOL

This woman and I were in Sunday School together as small children and she lived in the same neighborhood as my grandparents. We’d lost touch through the years but reconnected on Facebook. Her parents are deceased but she still lives in the home where she grew up. It’s been nice to “visit” my hometown vicariously through her.

It makes my group of friends virtually available anywhere I live and it is easy to stay in touch with lots of people on a regular basis. Also, great way to make new friends!

This one is a friend of a friend who is now a new friend. We met at a Valentine luncheon and by the next day we were Facebook friends. And she’s right – no matter where a friend might move, she’s still available through the computer. Ahem… my friend who moved to Ft. Walton Beach! Get with the program, girlfriend!

I live alone, and Facebook is my way of keeping in touch with my family and friends, to share their lives and have them share mine. I share the minutiae of my day, my triumphs and challenges, joy and disappointments, who I am. I always receive feedback and it makes me feel less isolated, more connected with the world.

This one really resonated with me. When you’re married, you sit at the dinner table and talk about your day. Even the most insignificant things are dinner table talk. But when you live alone, who do you tell about the abandoned birds nest on your patio or that your granddaughter had a dance recital or that you missed half of Dancing with the Stars because you knocked a bottle of nail polish over on the carpet?

Your Facebook friends, that’s who! The details might turn some folks off, and they are free to ignore them. But others are there to offer advice on how to clean the carpet, sympathize over the birds nest and tell you how beautiful your grandchild is.

I started a facebook page for my community service club at Hoover High School, so I could post upcoming activities and message all members (95) at the touch of a button (so easy!). From there, I have grown a community of young women at my church, a family group, and a group of old high school friends. It is fun staying in touch with them. I post status updates about once a week, not every day.

Great idea!

So are YOU on Facebook? Why? What’s been your most interesting Facebook experience? One lucky commenter will get a book from my stash.


Jane said...

I'm not on Facebook. So far I've resisted joining, but it's not that I have something against it. My friends are always telling to just sign up, but I don't know if I'm going to be one of those people who are always on updating my status and page.

runner10 said...

I have a facebook page, but am not active. I don't know much about it. I have joined a few author fan pages and enjoy getting to know them better. I am not a huge fan of FB. I think you can waste a lot of time there.

Alicia Pace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jean said...

I swore I would not let Facebook become a time suck and I've been pretty faithful that. But I love it. Last night a college friend, who I always regretted losing touch with, caught up with me. I love seeing what people are doing every day though, apart from posting a blog link, I seldom update my own status

Verification word: renatedi. Stick another t in there and that would be just plain nasty.

Smarty Pants said...

I love FB. I'm not very sociable and the Playfriends have been training me to use the phone, but even then, I only deliberately call about 7 or 8 people on the planet. The rest call me. So for the other 400 people I know, FB is a way for me to keep up without putting in much effort. I'm not going to call a girl I went to high school with and chat, but I can comment on the picture of her new puppy or that her baby is 10 or lament because a friend got laid off. No tears on my shoulder. No committment. I like to know what's going on with people, I just don't want a 30 minute discussion about it. FB is perfect for that.

Heck, everyone is on it. Though FB, I managed to find my father, actually talk to him and see photos of him. That never would've happened before social networking.

Beth Curtis said...

I found an old college boyfriend (just searched his name and there he was), a neighbor from 30 years ago in another state (she's not on FB but her daughter is so I messaged her daughter who put me in touch) and a high school friend (same thing -- found her son who sent me his mom's phone number).

I'll admit I've friended a few folks from way back when just to see what they look like now but quickly unfriended when I got tired of there constant political lectures.

I never knew all those stats about Facebook. Neat.

Laurie said...

I've been a member of Facebook for about a month. I wanted to see all of the photos my children post. I only have 6 friends so far. I'm still learning how to do things.

I don't have any horror stories. I thought it would be nice to reconnect with friends from HS and college. I'm only a couple of wears younger than you.

johnslake at usa dot com

Problem Child said...

I have two FB pages -- one for people I know in real life and one for readers. My real-life page lets me see who has kids, what everyone's up to, etc. And I can post pictures there (like of AC) that I wouldn't post in a public site.

My other page is eyepopping! Such a mix of people and ideas and interests that the news feed is a never-ending source of entertainment. FB is like a quick look into the lives of people you'd never know otherwise...

CrystalGB said...

I am on facebook but I don't post a lot. I like the interaction with family, friends, authors and readers. I have been able to reconnect with a dear friend from high school through facebook.

Angel said...

I love fb and freely admit I'm addicted. I don't always remember to post but I check statuses at least twice per day. I've especially enjoyed getting to know other writers and often participate on writing challenges. Thus fb has become a great accountability tool!

Angel said...

I love fb and freely admit I'm addicted. I don't always remember to post but I check statuses at least twice per day. I've especially enjoyed getting to know other writers and often participate on writing challenges. Thus fb has become a great accountability tool!

Virginia said...

I am on facebook but just started lately! My niece got me hooked on Farmville so mostly go there for that although I do read the authors comments some! My sister is hooked on it and has got back in touch with some of her past friend there!

Sherry Werth said...

I love my FB. I only have one site so it's a mixture of writing friends, author pages and old friends and family from my hometown. I don't play any of the games or send hearts/flowers/smiles etc. Besides being a time suck, it clogs up my pages. (Thanks to Lynn for the blocking info) It's a great way to stay connected with my writing friends and that keeps me encouraged to work on my own. :-D

Anonymous said...

no am not don t have time for it maybe at later time but family and friends are

any winner form may 17 ty

Kathy said...

I get on FB every now and then. I just keep forgetting it's there. ;)

Stephanie said...

I am on FB and really enjoy it. I don't post much but like many others I LOVE to see what folks are up to and thinking.

I don't really find it much of a time suck. Probably because I mostly just look at the news feeds a few times a day.

Oh, a while back I did get proposed to in a FB message by a rejected beau so that was pretty exciting for a bit.:-)

Liza said...

I'm on Facebook, as long as it remains free. Rumors are running around they might start charging users for their profiles. It is a total time waster, but a great way to keep up with friends.

mariska said...

I've been in FB for a year. And, The most interesting things that i get from FB. I can find my old school friends, my friends in other countries. and most of important thing, I can have my new Hobby, Collecting Signed copies from Authors that i be friend with :)