Flickr photo by lululemon athleticaSure Facebook has its privacy issues and has been known to suck more than a minute of time from our lives, but mostly it's a positive activity that I wish had been invented sooner. Life really is different -- and mostly better -- because of it.
Here are a few examples of the many positive things that have happened because of Facebook.
1. Long-lost Pet Returned A cat that was missing for two years was reunited with its happy owners because a smart Humane Society worker thought to check Facebook when she came upon Bob, the personable cat.
2. Good Karma Found Lana Morgan recounts the story of how her husband found a woman's wallet in a taxi in New York. "He looked her up on Facebook, sent her a message and met her to return the wallet (and all of its contents!). A few months later, my husband left his wallet on the subway and someone found it and contacted him via Facebook as well."
3. Job Landed As a law student, my sister got a coveted summer job because she won a Facebook game of Scrabble with a potential employer. He told her if she beat him, the job was hers. She did, and it was.
4. An Alibi Last year 19-year-old Rodney Bradford of New York was spared jail time because of his Facebook usage. Originally suspected of robbery, he was released from suspicion because he had posted a status update from a computer in his father's home just one minute before the crime took place. Phew!
5. Adoption Assistance After failed infertility treatments and the devastating loss of premature twin boys, Facebook helped a Maryland couple expand their family. When a friend shared the couple's adoption page with his Facebook friends, one responded that she knew someone looking to give up a baby for adoption. One thing led to another, and today they are a happy family of three.
6. A Love Connection While Facebook can certainly be the source of problems for some relationships, it can also be a conduit for cupid. Chelsea Logan, a 22-year-old from Virginia credits Facebook for finding her a fiancé. "We met ... through a Portuguese group we both had joined. He friended me and we started messaging back and forth for many months. I was going to school in Boston at the time and we finally decided to meet and have dinner. We hit it off and the rest is history!"
7. Support in a Difficult Time Heidi Eklund of Raynham, Mass., says Facebook provided strong support during her premature son Willoughby's 72-day stay in the NICU. "We received so much love and support through his page. It was a way to help us by reaching out to other preemie parents. People sent love, prayers, vibes, and support. We were truly uplifted by the experience of sharing his journey with the world."
8. Collective mourning Ashley Schwartau of Nashville says she found comfort in Facebook when she learned of Michael Jackson's death. "The entire day, as we all watched the constant news coverage, people updated about him, posting their favorite videos and photos and talking about how much they loved MJ. People from all over the world, all different races and ages were able to mourn together."
What good things have you seen come about because of Facebook?