I got a call last night from someone I haven't spoken to in 40 years.
She was best friends with my sister and was looking for her on Facebook--looking to reconnect after many years. She couldn't find my sister, found me instead and asked what happened to Nancy.
Telling someone their best childhood friend died, tragically, at 47 in a motorcycle crash is not something you want to post on someone's "wall." I sent my sister's friend my phone number and last night she called me.
We had a long talk. I said about ten minutes into the talk that I'd spoken to her more now than I ever did when she used to hang out with Nancy. I never cottoned to anyone growing up and spent the bulk of my time not speaking to people.
Facebook and with it, our ability to connect or reconnect with near-strangers is an amazing phenomenon. I suppose in previous eras there were lonely-heart columns in local newspapers and people wrote letters to penpals and long-lost friends. None of which had the immediacy of what we have today. Like I said, Facebook is an amazing thing.
Whether or not this amazingness has anything to do with advertising (outside of being a re-seller of personal data) remains to be seen.