I have met a few people that think Facebook is evil. Well, not just Facebook but privacy on the internet gives them shivers. I jokingly call them dinosaurs but I can understand their apprehension, especially when stories of houses being broken into and identity theft based on information people put out themselves are becoming commonplace.
Once, while I was in a meeting my nanny called me. She called during work hours only if there was an emergency. Ankit had not returned from school. She had searched high and low. He was missing. I tried to call Peeyush but he did not pick up my call. Just then I saw a FB notification pop up. It was Peeyush checking into a movie theater followed by an update about watching a movie with his son. Peeyush had picked Ankit up but forgotten to tell our Nanny. Without FB this five minute incident would have been two hours of calls and panic.
A few months later we moved to India. I was working from home and felt more lost and lonely than I had in my entire life. Then I started to post little updates. I'd say "I am lonely" and people would chat with me. I'd think of something funny and people would laugh with me. I felt a sense of community and had support from thousands of miles away. Status updates and comments made me feel like I was there. I knew all that happened during the first snow storm in Seattle and felt the success of Kinect without seeing one. I saw birthday cakes and people change jobs. I saw my friends and their kids grow up. Saw the vacation and graduation photos - like I would have in person if I had been around them.
Many people that are transplanted to a different city get depressed and have a tough time adapting. I attribute FaceBook a lot for providing a virtual community that provided a soft landing pad for me. Without FB my first three months would have had a lot more tears and way fewer laughs.
Since then I have made friends here too but I still love my FaceBook community. I guess privacy is a small price to pay for sanity.