Facebook full of opportunities - and downsides

On June 11 at 11:19 a.m. the Sequim Gazette hit a new milestone.

We officially reached 1,000 likes on our Facebook page. In the past month 1,314 people have viewed our page, read our news updates, looked at our photo galleries, clicked on our story links or otherwise interacted with our page a total of 176,884 times.

Facebook, an online social networking website, is not only an effective news tool for us at the Gazette, but also a great way to keep in touch with friends, family and the community at large.

Dawn Langjahr, of Sequim, wrote she appreciates the news and information posted on the Gazette's Facebook page since she works from home and is online all day. Facebook has made her more connected to her new hometown and recently was an invaluable way to keep friends and family informed on her husband?s health after he had major surgery in Seattle, she said on the Gazette's page Friday.


On the other hand ...

Of course, Facebook has its downsides. As Langjahr wrote, not everyone is on Facebook to benefit from the information and interaction, and there are people who use it as a platform to post snarky, sarcastic comments and promote their own opinions and agendas.

There also are the endless quizzes, horoscopes, questions, popularity rankings, "I need a cow in Farmville," and similarly annoying posts that some splatter all over the walls and news feeds of their friends. (Disclaimer: All examples are generalizations and do not refer to specific people.)

There are the friends who invite you to a dozen concert events a month even though you live half a state away and are not at all interested in their experimental jazz band. There are the friends who detail every aspect of their pregnancy, which is a wonderful and beautiful thing but no one wants to know every time they throw up, and those who post status updates or story links that are politically or religiously charged and seem to beg for confrontation.


Personalize your page

When you know how to utilize Facebook's privacy settings and filters, you can eliminate things you don?t want with the click of a mouse. That?s the best part of Facebook; you can shape it to be whatever you want it to be.

Not only that, but with the partnerships Facebook is forming and the new features it adds nearly quarterly, it can be your passport to the Internet. A user since 2006, I've found Facebook to be an incredible tool personally and professionally to keep in touch with family and friends, research story ideas and interview subjects, and update people on local news, weather and events.

Periodically, I'd like to answer your questions about Facebook so you can benefit from using it, too.

We'll start with how to block game invites that can clog up your wall and news feed.

First, go to your home page and click on the little heart and spade card logo on the left hand side. Here you will see game requests. On the right side of each game request is an "Accept" button and an "X" button. If you click the "X" button, you get the option of either blocking the specific game altogether or blocking all requests from the friend who sent it to you. If your friend is prone to bombarding you with requests, you might want to choose the latter option. Click your preferred response and problem solved. If you want to participate in a game, enjoy it, but please try to send requests only to friends who have indicated they'd like to participate, too.

Send your questions to or Facebook me at

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
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