I'm not bragging, but I have 731 Facebook Friends. It feels so good! As a matter fact, I know them so well, that I would not recognize 80% of them if I saw them in public or if they tapped me on the back and said, "Hey Karl!"
It's not that I'm completely friend happy. Through my varied life of 5 and half years in high school, dozens of jobs, scores of adventures, business, business associations, and nearly two full terms as an elected official, I've met a lot of people that I am very happy to be linked with. I accept most friendship requests, as long as I can tell they are legitimate; which is often hard to tell until you friend them, look at their profile, see that they want phone sex, and then immediately unfriend them. (I swear!)
Either way, there is something about my personality that draws me to Facebook. Some of it may be ego, I am sure, but mainly, I love to share information and debate philosophy, science, religion, current events, etc.
But even without that, it's been good for business - and in more ways than one.
Not only do I pick up a new client here and there, but also the wealth of personal experience in my list of friends is nearly priceless.
I won't bore you with the depth of the problem and solution, but I had a computer I needed to fix that I was stuck in what to do next. So, I hopped on Facebook and updated my status:
"Fellow Techies: I had a RAID 10 Array fail because of a bad hard drive. I've replaced the drive with a larger one, so I know that the partition is fine. It's an Asus M4A78STD-V EVO Motherboard using the on-board RAID. I see no option to add or replace the drive in the Array. I have none of the original software and see nothing at ASUS that helps. Anyone? Anyone?"
Within a matter of minutes I was set on the right track by my Facebook friend that I rarely ever communicate with. He gave me just the right amount of information I need to get the job done. As a result, I am happy, my customer is happy, and I assume my Facebook friend feels pretty good for helping me out a bit as well.
Social networks like Facebook can be a real disaster if not used properly, and for each person, that means something different. For me it is a wonderful tool to network and to make and lose "friends" by the day who are as varied, and perfectly flawed as anyone else, including myself.
Like the Dilbert Cartoonist Scott Adams said, "Everyone is an idiot, not just the people with low SAT scores. The only differences among us are that we're idiots about different things at different times. No matter how smart you are, you spend much of your day being an idiot."
Facebook helps me close the "idiot gap," even if only by a little.