Saturday, September 24, 2011

Why I Can't Give Up Facebook

It seems like there's not a month that goes by without Facebook making changes to "improve" users' experience. I've lost count of how many times I've had to change settings back to maintain my privacy after Facebook unilaterally decided to make changes to users' accounts under the guise of "site improvements." Honestly, there has been a few times when I've considered kicking it to the curb and starting over with a different social networking site. So you're probably wondering why I stick around even though I am constantly frustrated by it.

It's the connections. 

Earlier this year, my mom signed up for Facebook. In the process of adding friends, she began looking for family members. After adding one of her first cousins, she called to let me know that he was putting up old family pictures on his profile. I promptly added him so I could see the photographs and keep an eagle eye out for him adding more, which he does from time to time.

This morning when I checked Facebook, I had a message from my aunt. Another cousin, my first cousin twice removed, was on the site as well and had lots of family pictures on her profile. Not only did she have pictures, but she had also been sharing family stories. I couldn't add this new cousin fast enough.

When my mom pointed me to her cousin's profile earlier this year, I thought I'd hit the jackpot. This new cousin's profile, however, makes finding the first one seem like winning a small raffle in comparison to hitting the lottery. I'm still going through all her albums (she has a lot), but in one album alone she has 155 old family pictures. All told, I would say she probably has around 300 old pictures and at least that many pictures of her descendants.

For most of the pictures, she has identified the people in them not only by name, but also relationship. As various family members have commented on the photographs, they've shared memories of the individuals pictured, which makes it even more of a find.

So even though I'm annoyed by the constant changes at Facebook and hate having to redo settings time and time again to maintain my privacy, I can't give it up. If I do, I may miss out on the next cousin that comes along sharing family pictures and memories.

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