I'm definitely one of those people that like facebook better than real interactions sometimes. I feel like this is not a popular opinion, but over the last year or two I've decided that I really am okay with it. While I get daily conversations with other in person friends, I have no guilt for hanging out at home and only talking to people through facebook.
Other than keeping in touch with real friends through my news feeds, here are some other ways I use facebook.
I use it to plan events.
Neighborhood playgroup? Meet up at the farmer's market? All happens through facebook.
I use it to get parenting advice.
I love this one. When I was a new mom, I joined many parenting groups that focused on different parenting styles. As I ran into problems, I could ask or just browse through the archives. My questions are usually answered within a few minutes. Now that Madeleine is a toddler I have one group that I mainly use that actually has a few of the leading experts in the group. It's nice getting answers from them.
I use it to learn hobbies
There are so many things I have learned thanks to facebook and youtube. Crocheting, doll making, sewing, cooking, just to name a few. When I start a new hobby, the first thing I do is look for a facebook group.
I use it for home education.
I wanted to teach Madeleine the colors a few months back. After asking a few questions in a group, I had a full month unit given to me of what books to check out, what questions to ask her, and different activities we could do. On a smaller day to day bases, I have literally hundreds of ideas at my finger tips and unlike pinterest, if I have a question, I can ask the person directly who I'm copying the activity from. My favorites are actually the waldorf groups right now since I like how they set routines and teach chores and cooking to toddlers (and many other things that are all fantastic).
I use it for finances.
There are several groups that I'm part of that help with money. There are some that effect us financially but are not directly related like minimalism groups and the Non-consumer advocate. But then there are some that are very money oriented like my budgeting group and investing group. I don't participate much in these, but I learn a lot from just reading other people's posts.
I use it to decorate my house.
When we moved into our new apartment, I filmed my living room and asked for feed backs in one of my groups. I got it within minutes. Free interior design advice in minutes. Pretty sweet.
I use it for social issues.
I love all the discussions about social issues. I like that I can pick when I feel like discussing it on friends' pages or reading a certain article. I also like that I can then discuss this with my friends when I see them again. Matt and I have many discussions about race, poverty, class-issues, politicians etc. that began with something I saw on facebook.
I use it for news.
Believe it or not, at this point I usually have a friend close to where most major stories happen. I usually find out major stories before they are published. I feel like the news articles that my friends share are more well-rounded than what's on CNN.
I use it for religious discussions.
There is always religious discussions going on with friends. Again, I like the fact that I can choose to skip them when I don't feel like hearing about it and "eavesdrop" on conversations when I do. I like it because I feel like it is more civil, and when it gets hostile, I can skip it.
I use it to achieve goals.
I have several groups ranging in size that help me achieve goals. We report what our goal is and where we are at, and people cheer or give encouragement. I like being passive on most of these, but one of my favorites is a small group of 20 women. We share what our plans for the day are and check in at the end of the night. I'm one of the youngest in the group, and I have received some great tips from these women.
I use it for shopping.
Most people I think are aware of the facebook yard sale for their areas, but there are so many other things you can buy off facebook. Like vintage dolls? There is a group for that. Homeschool materials? Dozens of groups for that. Anthropologie or Boden clothing? Places for that too.
There are other things I use facebook for with my in person friends such as remembering birthdays and stuff but I feel those are more typical uses of facebook.
You might be thinking that I could do all of this with people in real life, and it's true. But I like that I don't know these people usually. I like that I can ask and if they judge me, it won't effect my real life. I like that it won't ruin friendships or place labels on me that I don't necessarily identify with. I also like the people I meet and chat with. I like that I can bounce ideas off of them without telling people I know. I like that I see over and over people are in general good.
Anyway, what do you facebook for? Do you like or hate it?