If you’ve ever marveled at the connections you’ve made on Facebook, there is now a map that shows just marvelous those connections really are. As Mashable reported on their Website (an excellent social media resource to follow, by the way, if you’re not already doing so) Paul Butler, an intern at Facebook, was able to create a map showing the network’s connections around the world. It’s a beautiful piece of work, but besides the beauty of the math and programming that went into creating this, there are 500 million other reasons to be impressed.
Who do you know through Facebook whom you would not possibly have met otherwise? What old friends from school or long-lost relatives have you discovered again? Where are you as you read this? St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador? San Diego, California, USA? Noida, India? Perth, Australia? People from each of those places and many more are connected on my Facebook page, and that is just the tiniest tip of the Facebook iceberg. Back in the early 1960s, Canadian teacher and futurist Marshall McLuhan called the world a “global village.” It certainly is today. Facebook allows us to socialize on a scale that was impossible in 1964, or even in 2004.
Facebook brings something for everyone
Without a doubt, some people get obsessed with Facebook. Some spend hours playing Farmville or Mafia games. Some sit and look at pictures and videos for hours. Some spend huge amounts of time here, with little or nothing to show for it. But others have plenty to show for their time here. They stay in touch with family members who would otherwise be completely out of sight. They help bring blended families closer together, or they find support for victims of family violence, or raise funds for worthy causes. Others grow church communities here, or help homeless veterans, or unite NFL fans , or grow their businesses whether a call center or real estate agents or whatever else you might imagine. And some are just incredibly giving as they help the rest of us learn how to make the most of Facebook, for whatever our own causes or objectives might be.
What is Facebook to you? What friendships have you found or rekindled there? In what creative ways have you or others used Facebook to promote a great cause? Are you a Facebook fan? Or someone who thinks we would be better off without it?