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Gareth Pryce

Managing Partner, Wave Strategic Consulting

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What's the Point of Facebook?

Really. What does it achieve for you? Why do you update your profile? What reaction do you hope will result from doing it? Why do you want to get back in touch with friends you lost touch with? Why did you lose touch with them if they were so important to you?

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    • Apr 1 2011: I'm with you. After living on 3 continents and in 5 countries over the last years, I have friends in all places. Time zone differences make it difficult to meet in chat rooms regularly, same with talking on the phone. Facebook is a good way to keep up to date with people, especially about those little things you wouldn't bother emailing about.
      Do I keep in touch with some people I wouldn't have otherwise? Yes, but I don't think that's a bad thing. In fact, when I now meet up with people, even after not seeing them for a while, I feel like I still know what's going on in their life - I've seen pics of their babies, weddings, birthday parties. Also, it's a great networking tool. I can't count the fun times I've had on my travels b/c someone read on FB that I'll be in XYZ and connected me with their brother/friend/cousin there.

      I don't think FB replaces real-life relationships or the value of talking personally (or even on the phone). But it can, if you use it right, keep you closer to the people you care about. Finally, I have a couple 'rules' about FB:
      1. I don't 'collect' as many friends as possible. I stick to a 200 friends limit and from time to time I delete those people i haven't talked to in a long time.
      2. I don't accept friend requests from people in my past, just to 'catch up'. If I haven't been in contact with them for the last 10 years, there's probably a reason for that!
      3. I closely keep professional and personal life separate and I don't post things I wouldn't want my Grandma to read.
      4. I make a point of maintaining contact with my FB friends outside of FB. I still write Christmas and birthday cards.

      And lastly: I do understand peoples' reservation against Facebook - not least because of the data/privacy issues. But I just wonder if people who are disgusted by 'friend collecting' on FB have their Outlook address book so cleaned up that there isn't a single 'contact body' in sight... ;-)

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