I heard about the new social media site called Facebook shortly after it started becoming popular, but I did not join it right away. I could not. Facebook started out as a site for high school and college students. I did not meet the requirements until they opened it up to the general public.
I joined Facebook for a few reasons. First, I was not very happy with Myspace (see a previous article). Second, my nieces and nephews were migrating to this new site. Third, some of my former Boy Scouts had joined Facebook. Fourth, I liked the format better than some of the other social sites.
I soon discovered that quite a few Boy Scout Troop 68 alumni had Facebook profiles. I had lost touch with many of them once they graduated from high school. My Facebook friend list began growing. It became not only a great way to stay in touch, but also a great stay to keep up with their lives, and yes, families. I would guess that nearly half of the alumni of Troop 68 of the last thirty years can now be found on my friend list.
Another benefit of Facebook is that the fans of my podcasts, the Melrose Scouting Productions video podcast and the Around The Scouting Campfire audio podcast, have another way to get in touch with me. There is a Facebook fan page for the podcasts. Even Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, has a Facebook profile.
There are Scouting based groups found on the site, even one for our troop’s favorite summer camp, Many Point Scout Camp. The Central Minnesota Council has a profile page. Just a few of the groups of which I am a member include:
1st Facebook Scout Group – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2450689742
Many Point Scout Camp – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2231826715
You Know You Are A Boy Scout When… – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2258927974
Do I spend a lot of time on Facebook? I would say not really, unless I get involved with a chat. I check out the site a few times a day for a few minutes, post something once in a while, and add pictures to my photo albums. It usually is only a several minutes per visit. I try not to get too caught up in the site, but I also try to stay in touch and up to date with friends.