I have a morning ritual that usually involves Facebook. After getting dressed and brushing my teeth, I grab a bite to eat before sitting down to look at Facebook. First I hit the news feed to see what my friends have been up to over the last 12 hours. Reading the news feed includes reading and replying to statuses and photos, reading links to articles and blogs my groups (such as National Geographic or NPR) post, and sometimes re-posting these articles.
I do like the groups option on Facebook. Not only can you keep up on the news of the nationally known organizations of your choice (such as Smithsonian, NASA and the like) but many local businesses have thrown their hats into the Facebook arena giving you the opportunity to learn more about their events. For example, I belong to the group of an independent bookstore and they frequently post author signings and sales. And of course, belonging to the TV stations helps when you forget your favorite TV show is on and the station posts a reminder about that program ;)
Then I go to the "Games" tab. Facebook gamers know the Games page is the clearinghouse where your fellow game players put in requests for materials needed for quests in their games such as Mafia Wars, Farmville, Frontierville, Cityville and the like.
Then I hit my games Frontierville, Farmville and Cityville. While these games have very different settings, they do have some overlap. In Frontierville, the goal is to create a settlement town. Your town has an Inn, Foundry, Blacksmith, Saloon, Post Office and more. Of course you have your own home as well as crops and animals to tend. The game offers different quests, such as the series devoted to a couple getting married (helping the man find the perfect ring, creating a dress for the bride and decorating the chapel). Other quests focus on gathering components for a new barn or an addition to the Inn.
Farmville is all about planting crops and creating foods, such as pies, cakes and beverages. Farmville recently added a workshop where you can create fences, food for your animals, tractor parts and the like. You can obtain gasoline for your harvesters, experience points and mastery points for your crops if you buy goods from your neighbors as well.
In Cityville you are given the task of creating your own modern city, complete with hotels, apartment complexes, neighborhoods, schools and businesses.
I've often asked myself just what it is that has got me hooked on Facebook and there is no one reason. From the people perspective, I love being able to see what my friends are doing. I laugh and marvel over the humor and creativity in their posts.I enjoy looking at the pictures of their families, trips and every day life. I say prayers and try to offer words of support for those going through difficult times and I offer encouragement and praise for those who are in the midst of achievements. In essence I enjoy the fly-on-the-wall view of the daily lives of my friends.
I like to share what's going on in my life as well. Facebook is a place where I can share my passion of photography and my love for the birds and all things wild. Often times, I'll be working out in the field and be in the midst of a beautiful field of flowers, or holding a bird and think "Man, I've got to share this on Facebook!" and pull out my phone to take a picture, or download photos later from my digital camera. I want to share what I see, what I'm thinking. In terms of conservation and wildlife, I feel sharing my experiences is a passive way of teaching. It's a non-threatening, non-judgmental way of educating my friends and anyone who may be peering in, on the wonders of the natural world and the importance of preserving it for future generations.
In terms of the games, well, I think those satisfy my cataloging and collecting quirks. If I collect x-number of parts, I will complete this building, and if I plant and harvest x-number of crops, I complete this quest and get that reward.
So yes, I am addicted to Facebook. I probably, well, I do spend more time on it than I should but there are worst things to be hooked on...like World of Warcraft. And I'm addicted to that as well.