But I also know that no company doing anything good at scale can manage a record free of errors. And I also know that most of Facebook’s critics are people who have benefitted tremendously from the platform. Let’s remember what the good people of Facebook have made possible:
1. Reforging Family Ties
How many long-lost or far-flung family members have reconnected or stay connected because of this platform? Distance that used to mean a few long-distance calls or letters gets closed in an instant on Facebook. Don’t act like that’s a trivial thing. And the fact that your Grandma is on the site is a credit to the designers at Facebook: they’ve made something so simple that billions of people can use it.
2. Maintaining Online Community
Libertarian misfits, college opt-outs, trail runners: I’ve found all sorts of communities on Facebook I might never have connected with otherwise. Sure, online communities existed before Facebook, but Facebook Groups are still some of the best and most popular interfaces for group management ever made.
3. Finding Great Local Events
Quite a few of my weekend activities come from browsing or being invited to Facebook events. These event pages are simple, searchable, and integrated well into personal and page profiles so it’s easy to invite all of your friends to a party or find a Day of the Dead festival being organized by your local museum.
4. Learning How To Write (Or Take Photos)
With Facebook (or Facebook-owned Instagram), the average person has been given a creative platform they may never have had before. On Facebook, millions of people have honed their skills for writing, design, photography, and other creative arts.
5. Personal Branding
Can you imagine building a personal brand before social media platforms existed? Your chances of being noticed were even slimmer. With Facebook tons of people have had the chance to be heard without going through gatekeepers.