Excerpted from a Facebook reply that I wrote. I felt it worth sharing:
I know the Germans did some research recently, documenting Facebook envy and showing how it could make people less happy if it is misused. I think that if you use it correctly, it can be a great wellness tool. I find something very healing about friends quickly jotting down a sentence of support, concern, a question or some advice. I think there is some kind of healing or maybe just healthful being that comes from social interaction like this.
We are, at bottom, deeply social creatures, and yet we all want careers and other things which make being social harder. We move around, and so half of you are back in Texas, the other half I’ve known for less than a year. I imagine that this would be a very isolating experience were it not for tools like Facebook.
Lastly, I’m not sure what it is about posting a message like the one I did, but we all know that it is a little strange because you would never go to work or school and just announce your problems. Yet somehow posting a message is somehow socially ok to do, and so you end up getting little bits of support from different corners of your life that you never would have received in the ‘real world’. There are many things that Facebook can never replace, but there are a few things that it does uniquely well.