Pro: I appreciate Facebook

Whether we like it or not, social networking has become a large part of the way the world communicates.

Facebook is one of the biggest social networking sites in the world, with more than 400 million active users.

I am one of those active Facebook users, and I am a big fan of social networking.
My cousin helped me set up a Facebook account when I was still in high school. Back then, I did not know very much about social networking, but I knew Facebook was supposed to help me stay in touch with my cousins who were in college.

Once I got the hang of Facebook, I was hooked. One of my closest cousins lived five hours away, and I thought it was so neat that I could post inside jokes and funny videos right on her wall.

I have family members who live all over the country, and it is wonderful to be able to leave them messages and see their recent photos, especially when I normally only see those relatives every few years.

When I first got a Facebook account, not too many people from my high school had discovered the site, but within a year or so nearly everyone had an account. It became very useful to have a way to keep in touch with classmates about homework assignments or group projects, especially if you did not have that person’s phone number handy.

Most of the people I know who dislike Facebook are uncomfortable with how involved you can be with your Facebook friends. Their actions are posted on your “News Feed,” and your actions are posted on theirs. But, no one is forced to add anyone who they would rather not associate with. An advantage of social networking today is the various privacy settings, which allow you to choose who sees your content.

Also, if you have added a friend who you would rather not see updates from anymore, there is two things you can do: either delete the friend, or use the handy “hide” button on the side of their posts so you do not have to see their content anymore.

Of course, there are safety issues that concern people as well. To stay safe, keep your content private, know the privacy settings the site offers, and have a good password that you change often to keep hackers out. Facebook offers a lot of privacy settings, which can even let you create lists of people who can or cannot see your content.

Facebook can help people to make new friends. Users share some of their interests and their personalities on their profiles, so it’s easy to find common interests such as movies, music, and activities with others.

Also, Facebook’s chat feature is a great way to get to know your acquaintances from school. I have gotten to know people by just chatting with them for a while on Facebook, and I have had friends who say the same thing.

Facebook is just fun. There are hundreds of entertaining applications, and it can really brighten your mood to see a funny post on your wall from a friend, or to commiserate with someone who posts that they are having a bad day when you are too.

I also use Facebook to share funny YouTube videos or interesting articles with my friends. If you copy and paste the URL of the website onto Facebook, a thumbnail of the video or article will show up on the page.

Most likely, another social networking site will soon become more popular than Facebook. It happened with MySpace, and is guaranteed to happen again. I look forward to these new sites, because they are changing the world by creating new ways for family and friends to keep in touch and stay connected. But that is only if you want to stay in touch with those people, of course.