Using Facebook to achieve personal change

How much time do you spend on Facebook? If you are a frequent user you might have noticed how your day begins and ends with the social network. You wake up, switch on your computer and quickly go online to connect with the world, people, companies and other organisations, and post some content to make your presence known. In the meantime, you go through your day and daily tasks at home or at work (or maybe both) and later in the evening you wrap-up your day by scanning through what has been posted on Facebook. Then you log out and go to sleep…

This morning, just after I woke up and opened Facebook I found out this short film, created by Maxime Luere, that tells the life story of a guy just by scrolling through his Facebook wall.



It makes an interesting observation – that nowadays our lives revolve closely around sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, where we leave a compressed, but quite detailed story of our existence, which is there for everybody to read. And this is good.

This is good, because services like this allow us to put our thoughts out there – to share our views about the world around us, to share wishes, high and low points in our lives, moments from everyday life that are worth mentioning. We share these with friends, family and colleagues. And if we look back we can reflect on our lives and witness how we have evolved through time, how our thinking and habits have changed. This can be really helpful if one wants to make significant changes in his or her life, because there is a clear picture of the old self and it is easier to focus on certain things that need changing or improvement.

This is quite similar to what we do when we start to devise strategies for business or scientific projects. For example, when we want to change an organisational strategy, first we have to gather sufficient data about what has been done (what was working and what wasn’t), then analyse the data and evaluate the results of the old strategy to find the problem. Next step would be to set up a clear objective to serve as guidance for our new strategy to tackle the existing problem. Then we design a new strategy and make sure it is implemented and producing positive results.

Another example would be the scientist working on some kind of experiment. If this experiment did not go well in the previous attempt and the required results were not achieved, the scientist will go over the steps of the experiment (all well-documented, hopefully) and try to identify where things went wrong. Then, based on his observations, he will introduce some changes in his methods. He will continue doing this over and over again until the right results are produced with the experiment.

From those two examples it becomes clear that if you want to change something (regardless if it is in a personal or professional plan) you need some background that will provide the foundation, the starting point for your new and improved strategy. Therefore, a tool like Facebook is very useful for people who want to change something in their lives, because it is a great provider of a base for a new personal development strategy. Scrolling down your wall gives you a good reflection of who you are and how you’ve changed.

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