I was a fairly early adapter of Facebook (2005), my first introduction to it came when I was sent a request to join from a friend who had recently moved from Canada to Italy. My initial thought is was it was a spam email, I had never heard of Facebook and just figured that my friends account had been hacked and just ignored the email. A few days later I received another email request to join Facebook from the same friend again I ignored it. Then I started receiving Facebook emails from other friends to the point were I emailed them all telling them their accounts had been hacked. One of my friends said no it was a new way to keep it touch with people and I should join. My thought was “Well, I’m already on classmates.com can’t they just go there?” I can’t remember when the last time I actually heard someone mention classmates.com was.
Social networking at that point was still a relatively new and people weren’t really sure as to what to do with it or even if it would stick around perhaps just a fad. As the site evolved so did the way people used it. My primary use for Facebook was to keep in touch with college friends and reconnect with people I had simply lost touch with over the years. As the site matured so did my friends, posts and pictures of partying and concerts turned into relationship status going from single to in a relationship, engaged and married. Pictures became of friends meeting their significant others, vacationing, buying houses, getting married having kids.
I’ve also learned first hand the negative effects of social media can have on life in general. During my separation from my common law wife, they went through my social media accounts to pull anything they could to paint me in a negative light. Have you ever seen the Honey Badger narrated by Randall video on YouTube? My brother had posted the video to my Facebook wall because of my sense of humour. Later when he invited me to his house for dinner, I stopped by the store for a bottle of wine. Not really sure what to buy because I don’t drink, I wandered the store. Then as fate would have it there’s a wine called Honey Badger, I remembered the video and promptly purchased it. Took a picture of it and posted it with the video link to my Instagram and Facebook. Cut to a few weeks later in court to the opposing counsel and the judge debating over what kind of a parent I was for posting the video to my social media. I’m not making that up…it really happened. My first word of advice to people getting separated or divorced is now stay off social media while going through it. After that I became very conscious about what I post on Facebook or even comment on.
Having started to pursue my own business now I have started using Facebook to help me promote and grow my business. It is a great inexpensive marketing tool, allowing me to have a business page, create promotions, ads and have a store. It also allows me to reach so many potential customers and buyers, that I wouldn’t have been able to reach without Facebook. Primarily now everything that I post to Facebook now relates to my business and very little is personal. I sometimes feel though I have become that annoying friend who only talks about work…only to do it all on Facebook.
As Facebook makes changes, so do we. Our lives change for better or for worse, ups and downs, triumphs and failures, now we share it with everyone and our pages tell our stories.