This is the first paragraph in the article on Facebook on the Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia) site:
Facebook is an online social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Its name comes from a colloquialism for the directory given to students at some American universities. Facebook was founded on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The founders had initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to their high-school students. Facebook now allows anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old worldwide to become a registered user of the website, although proof is not required.
The rest of the article can be read here.
If you use Facebook frequently you can get a more realistic view of how it actually works. I have a personal Facebook page. When my friends post it usually shows up on my timeline. If I share with other Facebook users, it shows up on theirs. This is the way we keep in touch, show off our children’s accomplishments as well as our own, announce the new grandchildren, movies we’ve seen, what we had for dinner and who we had it with, and we let you all know where we are going on vacation. You can find long-lost friends and past acquaintances by searching for them on Facebook. There is no better way to stay in touch. That’s a lot of stuff! Our lives are now an open book. What do you want your book to say?
You can tag a friend and then your tag shows up on their timeline as well as on the timeline of their friends. It’s a vicious circle and keeps snowballing, growing fatter and fatter with each quick click of the mouse.
Did you realize that when you tag a friend on Facebook your post can also show up on a timeline of someone you may not even know? That’s how I found out someone was changing jobs this summer. She wasn’t a friend of mine on Facebook. Her friend that was tagged with the post was a friend of mine. But…somehow I got the news too. I’m sure she didn’t mind that. It was ok, but a little scary.
You see where I’m going with this don’t you? Facebook could be a good thing. There are a few people – probably more than a few – that ruin it for everyone else. They don’t keep Facebook clean. They air their dirty laundry, make fun of others, bash their ex, and put the bad parts of their life out their for the world to see. Yeah, the world. We may see it. Don’t post he-said, she-said articles. You have no control over where your posts or comments may end up unless you control that in your settings on Facebook. But when you are posting publicly and start adding posts that are better yet kept to yourself, then you better watch out. There is no telling where it may end up!
Go ahead – post publicly, but only post the good stuff. There are people out there that feed off negativity. It is what keeps them running like the fuel in your car. Maybe it would be a good thing to withdraw that fuel. Stop the fire from burning.
And remember this – Not everything you read on the internet (Facebook) is true. People lie, make up stories and post just to see what kind of attention they can get. The more attention, the more negativity through comments and likes, the more the posting continues. These Facebook users are the ones that can ruin a good thing.
My author Facebook page and Crossing The Line Facebook page is kept separate from my personal page and so far I don’t have the negativity. I try to keep the negativity off my personal page and have dropped a few friends because of it. I use my author and Crossing page to market and promote my book and my blog. It’s a great marketing tool if used in the right way and I like most authors enjoy the slightly personal contact with my readers. I write for them as well as for my own sanity! I want my snowball heading in the right direction – don’t you?
It goes without saying. Do what’s right – Think before you post. Post conservatively and keep Facebook clean so it’s not ruined for everyone else. Would you want your mother to read that last post or your children? What about your husband or wife? Choose carefully what you post. Pick your friends, don’t just let them pick you. Like the subjects, posts, and pages that you would not be ashamed for other to see, don’t lose friends.