So What’s Facebook Good For, Anyway?

In this week’s Making Connections: Facebook & Beyond class at Georgia Southern University, we’re discussing – what else – Facebook. As an educator, I know what I use Facebook for:

  • Keeping my Facebook profile updated so my students can learn more about me
  • Learning more about my students media habits, especially regarding music, TV, movies, etc.
  • Discovering where my students are from
  • Playing an occasional game of SmartyPants or Scrabble
  • Chatting with students (and others) when we’re online at the same time
  • Sending out messages to my students when the info must get there quickly (they tend to check Facebook much more often than their university-provided e-mail accounts)
  • NOTE: To respect their privacy, I don’t read their walls or look at their photos, even if I have access to them

Beyond checking to see what their friends are up to, what do today’s college students use Facebook for? Please be specific in your comments, as your comments will help shape this week’s class.

Thanks so much!

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19 Responses

  1. Facebook can be either an invaluable tool, or an incredible distraction. I have a tendency to use it for both. As a leader in multiple organizations, Facebook makes staying connected with members and planning events so much easier than it ever has been before. It also makes recruitment much easier. For my theatre organization, I searched all GSU profiles for the phrases “theatre” or “acting” etc. and then sent a message, friend request and group invite to all of the search results.

    Its also a great way to track down people you meet on campus and want to stay in touch with, but maybe you’ve lost their phone number or forgot their room number. It is especially useful if you’ve forgotten their last name and all you can remember is you met a guy named Robert who is really into Quentin Tarantino movies, and played baseball for his high school team. Search for those things and it shouldn’t take too long to track him down. Stalkerish, maybe, but friend them and in all likelihood they wont mind.

  2. I use Facebook as I tool to keep in touch from high school, family members, and people that I don’t even know that well. It’s also like a place to vent i.e. the facebook status. You can write what you are feeling and maybe even get comments from your friends that might pick up back up if you are having a bad day. Other than that facebook is a good way to keep track of friends and photos other people take!

  3. The key aspect of facebook which i feel is its best quality is its ease of use. You can do anything with more ease than ever before from send a mass message to show a friend pictures.

  4. I use facebook for many things. I use it for keeping in touch with friends that I may not see that often. This is an easy way to catch up with those friends that live far away or go to different schools. I use facebook chat on an occasion when I notice that a good friend is online. This is also a good picture to view your friends pictures and post your own.

  5. I use facebook for many things! I keep in touch with members from my classes about upcoming assignments. I also use Facebook for updates on the different clubs I’m in on campus. It is just a great social network!

  6. As I prepare for graduation, networking is KEY in everything I do. There are tons of PR professionals on Facebook, as well as many groups that I can join to keep me up to date about the latest trends.

    For example, I am a “fan” of Adobe, Burston-Marsteller (an international PR firm), and Twitter!

  7. I use facebook to keep in touch with friends that have moved away, high school friends, classmates, and family. When someone enters my facebook page they will learn about the person that I am: my interest, my major, my goals for life, and the kind of person that I am. Facebook is a wonderful network website. I try to stay positive on my profile and give a good first impression a future employer, professor, etc.

  8. I, like most people, love Facebook for its communication qualities. I am able to keep up with old friends and family that are miles away. My friends and I also created one group where we can post pictures and send quick messages that go to everyone in the group–keeping ALL your friends posted!

    Several of the campus organizations and other local groups use Facebook to keep its members informed. Local non-profit (and other) groups use Facebook to try to rally support for their cause and get people to attend their events.

    All-in-all, Facebook can be a great tool, just be careful with it! And remember — “Think before you post!”

  9. I use facebook to keep in touch with a few friends that do not use myspace. I use ImportAtlanta.com much more frequently to talk to people, get car information, and to buy and slell things. I do not use Facebook that much, nor am I a big fan

  10. I do not use Facebook for any reason. I believe that it is an excellent example of how de-humanized communication is becoming. If I hear one more girl on the bus complaining about being deleted from somebody’s friend list, I swear…! On a side note, if I decide to go on a date with someone, I don’t want them to be able to have a window into my life and interests…they should want to and be able to find out about me on their own…outspoken maybe, but that’s my 2 cents worth

  11. I personally use facebook to keep in touch with old and new friends. I have a lot of friends who have traveled around the world and Facebook has helped us keep in touch with each other. (I also enjoy looking at their pictures from their trip)

    Facebook also has been important for me because of most student organizations send out messages through facebook of reminders of when meetings are.

    There have been numerous occasions where I have wanted to delete my profile in order to give myself “freedom” from the computer because I can’t walk away sometimes; however, I haven’t been able to delete my profile because I know that I would miss a lot of important information that is sent via Facebook.

    In order for me to stay away from the computer and get most of the important information I need, I have a maximum of 5 messages sent to my phone daily. (Seems ridiculous, but in a sorority there are probably 3 messages a day sent out on Facebook)

  12. If it weren’t for Facebook, I’d be a social recluse. 😉

    But in all seriousness, I’d probably never do anything if it weren’t for Facebook. When I’m bored, I update my status: “Courtney is BORED!” Within minutes, I’ve got someone knocking on my door. No effort required. The Events app is a must; thanks to that, I know of practically everything that’s going on, and I would have missed many the saxophone quartet concert without those helpful event listings.

    Like every other college student, I’m addicted–and for good reason!

  13. I do love facebook although the new layout has seriously made me consider leaving. I love it because i can keep in contact with my family and friends who live all over the world. Indispensable I say!
    http://superhomeless.wordpress.com/

  14. I use facebook to reconnect with old friends and to learn more about new friends. I also use it to stay in touch with people from my summer job so that I can maintain my position there. I also use it to stay up to date on events for my inter mural softball team and other groups.

  15. Facebook is a good way to find and keep in touch with old friends. The marketplace is also very practicial when trying to find a bargain for a particular item.

  16. I use facebook to of course keep in touch with friends and alot of my family is on facebook, my mom, my aunt, they are all on. Its a major distraction sometimes though. I love to get on and see what everyone is up to and send a few bumper stickers, but I also use it as a tool to keep me up to date with my schedule. I frequently get messages from my sorority about meetings and events.

  17. Since I am three hours away from my hometown, Facebook is a great way (as many others have already said) to keep in touch with my friends that are still in Conyers, plus others at different colleges. I also enjoy the “events” feature, for there are many events around campus that I would have not known as much about without Facebook. It is a great way to get in touch with my RA if I cannot locate her or if I want to ask her a private question, as well.

    Facebook, though, has its distractions as well. It takes balance and self-discipline to be able to be active on Facebook and still get your work done.

  18. I was skeptical at first but Facebook really has become an important tool for me. I live in Canada, have lived in Switzerland and was born and raised in England. It’s an easy and fun way for me to keep in touch with family, friends and folks I have worked with/met while travelling.
    The etiquette of adding/removing “friends” is a fascinating subject

  19. Facebook is also a tool for some individuals in serious need of psychiatric help to be sneaky and malicious when posting information and photos for “friends” to find. When I realized the demented side of this particular brand of people using facebook, I got the heck outta there. SOLAVAYA!!!

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