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Happy BD to FB

Facebook is 10 years old.

It has gone from a new, strange way for young people to communicate to something some now think is a grandparent-thing.

It's been amaziing how in a decade Facebook has grown to connect people of all generations.

Sure, there's the downside to Facebook and other social media. It can be abused.

But I like the upside — particularly after Facebook evolved from just a way people could show what they had cooked or were eaten.

We've made new friends and rediscovered old friends.

Parents, and relatives far away, can watch their kids grow up and see a continuing series of photos of their grandkids, beginning at birth.

We can celebrate achievements and accomplishments or great performances instaneously.

College students can keep up with friends at colleges thousands of miles away as easily as someone in the dorm next door.

Fans of everything from sports teams to actors to hobbiests can unite.

People can "stalk" the activities of their children, check out a future boss or employer or a budding acquaintance.

We can get immediate response, or a like or a comment, from a post.

I've gotten to know folks that I had barely known before — and I've connected and communicated with several whom I have not seen since high school graduation.

Once, my son was visiting a college campus and wanted to phone number of a high school friend. He posted his location on Facebook and a friend on a campus hundreds of miles away posted the phone number.

I've received comments columns I have written from people I didn't know just from someone posting it on their Facebook timeline.

I've had friends, particularly those who have moved or had an issue unfamiliar to them, get instant feedback on things like: Who is a good vet? We're traveling to (blank) on vacation, where are some places that would be fun for young children? Does anyone know a good, reliable mechanic? What's the best way to fix or treat (blank)? Do you know a good plumber? What did you think of that movie?

All kinds of info.

I've seen reporters, who were trying to reach a news source but didn't know a phone number, post the question on Facebook and receive the number within minutes. All of us reporters have posted various questions on Facebook and got quick answers.

Just a couple of weeks ago, a neighbor posted on Facebook about their dog escaping and posted a picture. I spotted it right across the street and we posted the sighting on Facebook. It took awhile for the runaway dog to complete his adventure and return to his owners, but the Facebook post gave the owners a lead to where he was headed and a benchmark for a search.

And one of the neatest parts of life in modern culture is to receive bunches of Happy Birthday wishes from friends and acquaintances, many just casual or folks you've only met only a couple of times. One of the fun aspects of a birthday is renewing connections and getting greetings from friends all over the world. It's really cool. And it takes only a few seconds to write and click and make someone's day.

So, Happy Birthday, Facebook. You've connected us in amazing ways. We're sending a virtual cake (Like).

Hope many will share.

 

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