Facebook and Me

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Facebook iconFacebook is a social networking website that allows you to connect with friends, co-workers, and other people whom you share common interests with. There are four types of networks that users can join: city, workplace, school, and region. Sending messages, posting on friends’ walls, and updating personal profiles are a few of the things users can do in order to let friends know about themselves.

I’ve been a member of Facebook since early 2007. It was an aunt of mine who mentioned that website to me and my sister. “You should get on Facebook,” she said when I was still new here in Canada in 2006. I initially didn’t know what it was, and then I found out that it was a website comparable to Friendster. I was more familiar with Friendster then since it was the popular networking site that was used in the Philippines, where I originally came from.

At first I was thinking: I don’t know if I want to join another social networking site. I also have MySpace but I don’t really use it. I only joined it at first because I think I got an invitation to join from a friend. That one is pretty much useless to me. I get a whole lot of invitations to join other social networking sites as well, so I usually just ignore them. I don’t think they’re all going to be very useful to me.

I decided to check out Facebook and it looked pretty decent to me. I liked the layout and features since it was very clean and simple; it was so different from Friendster and MySpace. And so I joined. I only had about ten or so friends on Facebook at that time (not including relatives) but I was okay with that.

Facebook: University of St. La Salle - Integrated SchoolI checked out the features and saw that there was this Groups. Hmm, I thought, maybe I should start a group for my school. Then and there I started the University of St. La Salle – Integrated School group. It was where I went to school during my grade school and high school years. I invited my friends who were already on Facebook and sent email invitations as well to those who weren’t on the site yet.

2002 was the year I graduated from high school, thus, I only knew the email addresses of those from my batch. I did a little research to find the group email addresses of other batches so I could send them an email invitation to join as well.

My high school classmate, who was on Facebook already, also started a University of St. La Salle group which is aimed to gather all those who went to our school from pre-school until college/university. I made him an admin on the group I created and vice versa.

Little by little, our groups started gathering more members. As of this writing, the USLS-IS group now has 800+ members and the USLS group has 1,000+ members. Compared to the actual number of students who studied in our school, I know we’re still far off, but well, at least we were able to create a venue for current students, alumni, and teachers to get and stay connected with each other.

This is the story of how my love for Facebook started.


Using Social Media

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Social media has been existing for quite some time now. It is very much different from the old school media that a lot of us have known before this “social media” existed. The media that we are familiar with, which is also known as industrial media, traditional media, broadcast media, or mass media, still continues to exist along with this new media. Newspapers, television, and film are still used to keep the community informed of the world around us. But along with this, using social media is very much important as this has also a lot more benefits than the traditional ones.

Using the internetWell, what is social media? In my own understanding, social media is a means of communication using highly accessible technologies typically done through the internet and mobile communications. This can take different forms including blogs, vlogs, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, picture-sharing, and video-sharing. YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and MySpace are some examples of the most popular social media being used. In the Philippines, where I grew up before coming to Canada, the most popular social media being used there are Friendster and Multiply.

Social networking isn’t the only purpose of using social media. With this, you can find out the information you need to know through more accessible means. Businesses also use them for marketing or for customer relationship management. If you have information that you want to get out to a broader audience, social media is definitely one way that can help you on that.

Let’s focus on the blog for example. With a blog, not only are you able to use text to get your message out, you can also use images, audio, and video. You can also make it interactive with the addition of an online forum or through a chat room on your blog or website. With a regular printed newspaper, can you do all of that? No. But with an online newspaper, you sure can.

Personally, I use social media to connect with my friends, to keep updated about their lives (since we can no longer do that in person since we’re in different continents), to complement my job search, and of course to learn more things everyday. There are just so many more ways that social media is useful to the world today. I’m simply thankful that such a thing exists.