In my opinion, the negatives have begun to outweigh the positives. I am beginning to see more people make subliminal comments and air their dirty laundry on Facebook. It's definitely great to reconnect with others, but the novelty of that has worn off.
Facebook can re-connect us to people who live outside of our geographic area. In a way, the social media site represents a thin soil for friendship spread out across a vast, nearly limitless (nether) space. The chances for establishing deep and satisfying friendships through the site are small, but maintaining ties to far-flung people becomes quite do-able.
I believe that Facebook enhances communication in most cases. People are able to stay in touch with others who they may otherwise never communicate with. It also allows a venue for people to get word out concerning events, important causes, etc. It lets people reach others on a much larger scale than if they simply put out fliers about, for eaxmple, a fundraiser.
There are definitely cons as well. Many people think that, online, they are immune to scrunity from the rest of the world. They think that just because they have freedom of speech to say something, then they should say it. What many do not realize is that people can easily have access to information and, whether it's right or not, will make judgements based on some of those things they see. A potential imployer could be turned off to a potential employee that shows that person doing something the employer does not approve of. Even though the activity may be perfectly legal, the employer still has a right to turn away the potential employee.
As with everything, Facebook is great when used wisely.
I have been able to reestablish contact with literally hundreds of my old friends and students via FB, something I would not have been able to do without exhaustive research in multiple public records. It's a great way of keeping up with people regularly and exchanging photos and other info. The only negative side of FB is that it is somewhat addictive for some people, and it tends to reveal too much personal info, although FB does provide settings to maintain as much or as little privacy as one wishes.
Facebook is extremely valuable for businesses. It is a way to help them keep in touch with their customers, keep their brand in the spotlight, and gather marketing data.
As Tony Bradley from PC World notes, "your business can't afford to not have a Facebook presence" (PC World).
For the same reasons, it is also useful to consumers. You can get coupons, learn about products, and get special offers. It’s a two way street. The business benefits, but so does the consumer. Isn’t it better to hear from friends and acquaintances about products, rather than relying on salespeople and advertising?
Bradley, Tony. "Secrets to Using Facebook to Market Your Business." Reviews and News on Tech Products, Software and Downloads. PC World, 22 July 2010. Web. 05 May 2012. <http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/201656/secrets_to_using_facebook_to_market_your_business.html>
I wouldn't say it's a waste of time, or perhaps more accurately, that people wouldn't find other ways to waste their time in the absence of Facebook. I generally think it is a good thing, and it has certainly allowed me to keep in touch with old friends and former students that I wouldn't hear from otherwise. It also has proven to be a very effective forum for raising money for good causes.
I love the idea of Facebook and agree with mostly everything that post #2 said, but I have definitely seen negative sides as well. Like any form of new technology, there will be those people who misuse it.
Con: From what I've witnessed at the school where I teach, Facebook offers one more accessible venue for students to cyberbully each other. It's unavoidable, really, but unfortunate for the students who have to endure the mean comments.
For me it's all pro. Facebook allows me to stay in casual touch with people who used to be my students and people who I knew decades ago when I was a kid. It lets me see pictures of them and their kids and what not. I guess some people feel there's too much drama and that people overshare. Not a problem for me and in what I've seen.