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Can you remember life without Facebook? Of course you can. If you’re an adult, you’ve lived many years without the online social networking service and if you’re African American, there’s a good chance Facebook has only been part of your life for five years or so.

According to stats taken a couple of years ago, 52 percent of Americans are on Facebook and of those, about 12 percent were African Americans. But even though some of us were late to the party, we’ve more than made up for it by making it part of our daily rituals.

I certainly don’t go a day without it. In the early years, yes, I was a pioneer of sorts. I used it primarily to connect with family and friends. And an informal Facebook poll I conducted tells me most of you use it that way too.

The immediacy of Facebook, says one respondent, beats waiting around for cards and letters (partly the reason the United States Post Office may soon be obsolete).

Many said they don’t know how they would have been able to keep up with out-of-state family members if it wasn’t for Facebook. It has been a Godsend for families who are spread all over the country.

Several women mentioned how they were able to foster a village of moms who they could relate to.  Makes sense. With the majority of African American women being heads of their households, and most of the others working outside of the home as well, we are busier than ever. Few of us have the luxury of taking advantage of “mommy and me” classes, “mother’s day out” or networking with other moms on a regular basis.  What we can do is use our Facebook posts to vent, brag or commiserate with our peers without investing too much time and no money.

With Facebook, no one ever is alone.

One poster said Facebook was like a class reunion. It’s the ideal place to look up and even hook up with old classmates without feeling we need to lose 20 pounds first.

Facebook has been used to do a lot of good, too. There continues to be campaigns aimed at raising money and awareness for charities and good causes.   Anti-bullying, autism, breast cancer, as well as personal projects that hit closer to home like memorials for loved ones and classmates, have all benefited from Facebook fundraising.

There are also some campaigns that are just meant to make us feel good, like #FreshFace that urges women to post photos make-up free and #ThrowbackThursdays that allows us to share those nostalgic moments. There’s nothing funnier than seeing teenagers throwback to 2009.

Happy Birthday, Facebook! 10 Do’s and Don’ts to Remember  was originally published on

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