When first asked to join Facebook many people don’t think of the benefits of Social Networking.  I think they hear what other people say and are hesitant because they’re afraid of the unknown.  How much control will I have? Will it take too much time?  What about all those causes?  What about all those surveys?  What about those other applications like Farm Town? I heard you can get addicted to that game.

The Truth

Facebook will take as much time as you give it.  If you want to give it a lot of time, it’ll consume it.  If you’re more disciplined, you can get away with a surgical strike; login, check messages, post replies, logout.

You have the freedom to choose what you will or will not participate in.  If you don’t want to read about every time your friends level up or get a high score of the week, you can always block that game.  If you don’t want any more invitations to a particular game or survey or whatever, you can always choose to block it.

If one of your friends is a little too verbose, you can always hide them.  They can still communicate with you directly, if they choose to send you a message, but you won’t be subjected to hourly announcements about what they’re doing now.

The Benefits

So what are some of the benefits of Social Networking and Facebook specifically?

  • Keeping your networks alive over the distance
    • Even though you don’t live in the same town you can still be virtually connected
    • This is really important when family is spread out all over the continent or for some folks world-wide
  • Reuniting with friends, family and colleagues you may have lost touch with
    • This is probably the biggest benefit, there have been many people in my life that I have reconnected with not only through Facebook but with other Social Networks like LinkedIn.
  • Developing a sense of Community
    • The more time you spend together the better you get to know them
    • If needs arise, everybody will hear about it and hopefully be able to help or provide support
  • Having Fun with friends & family
    • A great way to spend time with friends and family no matter where they are or what time zone.
  • It helps people increase synergy
    • You can bring together people from different networks for a common cause and increase the potential power of your network
  • It connects your past to the present
    • You can connect networks of your past with your present networks.

This was just a short list of the benefits of Social Networking.  If you have other suggestions, please feel free to add your comments.