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How to use Facebook

Facebook is a place for friends. It was designed to let friends connect easily, and in spite of all of the other stuff that has evolved over the years, that's what it is. And how you use it is a good indication of how you interact with friends outside of Facebook.

Facebook, like all of the web, is a public place. Facebook is a place to shout to the world about your friends, how much you cherish them, how cool you think they are. It's a place to stand up and call attention to the people you know that you think other people should know. If you're the kind of person who goes to a party with a friend and introduces them around, Facebook feels right to you.

Over a fairly long life, I have accumulated a diverse group of friends. I suppose I could try to separate them out into different groups, like friends who gave me a ride when my car broke down, or people I worked with, but the list would go on forever, and there would be so much overlapping I really wouldn't know where to "pigeon hole" these people. Google+ has tried to do that with "circles" but it is really annoying.

I have friends on Facebook whose political opinions are so far away from mine it's astonishing. But these are the same friends who have driven me to the hospital. If you wonder "how could Brad be friends with this person? They are so different from him" you are missing the point. The richness of my life is a direct result of the diversity of the people I have known, and do know.

And, by the way, just in case you're wondering, Facebook is not a place to stand and spout words of wisdom on your Update status, although most people do. It's a place of friends. Go to their wall and post something there, something only a friend would appreciate. If they're a friend, they will like it, and understand.