With the release of The Social Network, a film about the founders of Facebook, we’re looking at its pros and cons. For me, it provides a valuable way to stay in touch with friends, and even make new ones.
While at university I’d often drop by my pigeonhole to find a practical joke left by a close friend. At the end of our degree he left me a copy of his lifetime’s collection of bad jokes.
He’s one of the main reasons I visit my Facebook account every day. His humorous posts are exactly what I need to unwind after a hard day’s work. I can also guarantee that another uni friend will have commented on his post.
These evening chats take me back to days where we discussed such high-brow topics as the dubious plot flaws in Eastenders and who’d got the worst hangover.
A trip down memory lane
Many of my Facebook ‘friends’ are journalists I’ve worked with over the past 13 years but rarely see. It’s great to be able to see where they’re working, who’s married and who has kids.
Others are people I haven’t clapped eyes on for even longer, as they date back to my secondary – and even primary – school days. Still, it’s good to see what they’re up to and I’ve even chatted to a couple using Facebook’s Instant Messaging facility.
This nostalgia factor keeps me hooked on Facebook in the same way that I was previously addicted to Friends Reunited. Then Facebook came along with its friendlier, and free, interface and my old social networking buddy was ditched.
A friend with flaws
Sure, there are elements of the site I could live without. I’m sick of friends poking me and offering me various imaginary pets for imaginary zoos I have no interest in creating.
Nor am I blind to the various security risks that the social network presents. Barely, a day goes by that I don’t receive a press release warning me of a rogue Facebook application or scam.
Sophos, for example, recently warned of a ‘hilarious video’ doing the rounds on Facebook. The video claimed to show an anaconda eating a hippo, but by agreeing to view it you actually gave the Facebook application permission to post anything it wished on your Facebook wall; imagine the ramifications!
But these are minor bugbears compared to the value of being able to keep in touch with friends old and new, family and acquaintances. But am I a fan of Facebook? Most definitely.
David Fincher’s Facebook film The Social Network is out in cinemas today, does it take your fancy? And make sure you come back on Monday to read the other side of the social networking story in Al Warman’s ‘Why I’m fed up with Facebook’.
Are you a fan of Facebook?
No - it's a waste of time (75%, 305 Votes)
Yes - it helps me keep in touch with friends (25%, 101 Votes)
Total Voters: 406