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How Does Facebook Help Your Friendships?

Today I have a guest post by Cherie Burbach!

Cherie is a friendship expert at About.com, and my guest on the podcast this week, which you can listen to  here! We had a great chat about friendship, and I really enjoyed it!

Today Cherie offers some observations and advice about how we use Facebook with our friends.

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When Michelle interviewed me about friendship, we naturally got to talking about social media. Specifically, Facebook. Seems like everyone we know is on the site, even people we never thought would join, like our parents, grandparents, and technically-challenged friends. Recently I came across a figure that made the reality real: 71% of online adults use Facebook.

No wonder it’s become such a force in communicating with friends.

After my interview with Michelle, I did an informal survey of some of my own Facebook friends to see how they used the site and if it’s helped or hurt their friendships. The responses I got were:

  • It helps to stay in touch with long-distance friends.
  • It helps look up old friends easily.
  • It can get a little overwhelming sometimes.

Another response: it hasn’t changed things one way or the other. I think the response was largely based on how people used the site. Recently I talked about how studies had shown that Facebook made you happier or sadder depending on how you used it. For my own use, I think Facebook has been very helpful in certain situations, but since I use it for work it can also become a little too much at times as well.

One thing is clear: Facebook shouldn’t be the only method you use to communicate with friends. Call them up, text, and make time to see them in person. That’s the only way to truly keep your friendships going and make the people in your life feel important. Facebook can supplement the things you do, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you do to connect with friends.

Girlfriends

Get out and meet up in person! (photo by Whiskeygonebad)

author photo.

Cherie Burbach is a freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and relationships. She’s written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Happen Magazine, Philips Lifeline, and more. Visit her website, cherieburbach.com.