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Note: I’m giving a speech on this topic for Toastmasters this week so I thought I would write it up and post it on my blog, just for practice.

I know some of you are Facebook users. Others of you may think it’s a bunch of nonsense. And then there are some of you who may be wondering what it’s all about.  Is Facebook right for you? Whatever your take on it, I would like to share with you some thoughts about using Facebook.

I consider Facebook to be my own personal newsletter all about the people I know. On Facebook I keep up with relatives who are scattered all over the country. I learned when my high school classmate got married on Facebook. A former Sunday school classmate grew up and got engaged last week. She posted her engagement from her cell phone and I was among the first to know. I also keep up with new friends including some of you here in Toastmasters. How else would I have known that David was going to be President one day, or that he got too rough playing football with his son and had to take him to the emergency room to get stitches in his head? I also use Facebook to network with writers making new friends along the way.

Facebook is an easy way to tell the your friends about what you are doing, all in one simple status post. Not all messages have to be public. You have the option of sending a private message to one or more people. You can also share pictures and videos. You can also chat live with friends if you catch them online at the same time you are on Facebook.

Facebook is a place where you can form groups or push special causes. Did you know we have our very own ___ Toastmasters Group on Facebook? I placed invitations around for each of you. Please look for the web address on it so you can find it on Facebook. Several of you have already joined, but I don’t think everyone is aware that this group has been set up. You will see pictures of some people you know on this group.

Facebook offers many apps for entertainment. Many use these apps to unwind after a busy day. A few popular ones are Farmville and Farmtown, Fish World, Yoville, Café World. You can also participate in quizzes, games, snowball fights, pokes, and send electronic gifts and cookies as well. Of course the taste leaves much up to the imagination.

But Facebook isn’t without its problems. Facebook can become very addicting and time-consuming. The more friends you have, the more posts show up in your news feed. Consequently, it takes a lot of time to read them all. Some posts have real information you won’t want to miss, while other posts are totally frivolous. Someone who has over a hundred friends who each post one or more times a day may not care to read about what you had for breakfast or if you just walked your dog. Facebook can be quite glitchy at times making it difficult to do what you should be able to do quickly. It is also slow going if you are looking for a specific post a friend wrote several weeks or months ago. To find it you have to go backwards page by page, day by day, until you find the post you were looking for  – if indeed you can find it at all.

Facebook is the social networking fad of today, but it may not be for everyone. Is it for you? Do you have friends you would like to be able to keep up with more regularly but can’t find the time? On the other hand, are you able to discipline yourself to not overdo your time on Facebook? After all, it wouldn’t be wise to let Facebook cause you to miss the opportunity to have face-to-face friendships if you fail to limit your time on Facebook.

The address for Facebook (if you need it) is: www.facebook.com.

(P.S.   Toastmasters International is an organization that helps men and women learn the arts of speaking, listening, and thinking through practice at regular club meetings. I joined to help prepare me to promote the books I hope to have published before long. The Toastmasters International website is www.toastmasters.org. )

© 2009 by Janice D. Green