I'm 38 years old. I plan events with friends, I get to see their children grow up, new jobs, comfort them when they lose a parent..
There's never been a platform so emotionally engaging. It makes me feel in sync with their lives, even when I haven't seen them in a while.
It's such an amazing platform.
Also I am sad to see your thought is being down-voted.
Aren't there just people that have been good to you in the present or past, that you want to see succeed, that you want to root for? Those are the perfect candidates for Facebook.
"FaceBook friend" maps roughly to "Anyone I have had some form of contact with and either don't actively hate, who says things I'm interested in hearing, or who I haven't gotten around to deleting". It's a completely distinct concept from "friend", in my mind. A FaceBook friend could be more accurately be described as a "contact", the way that I usually see it used.
I know some people who are deep in the FB Kool-Aid, or who label all acquaintances as "friends", but that doesn't accurately describe most of the people around me.
See someone from your hallway in your dorm in the library you never spoke to before? Oh dude that's my boy from my dorm right there!
See a classmate out at the bar that you only asked for homework a few times? "Sup dude! It's your boy from chem class!"
And hundreds of other examples similar to this.
The people you mention are not friends, they're people you know ("cunoștințe" in Romanian). We might casually call them "friends" occasionally but most people only truly call "friends" a handful of people.
Do you though? I mean do you really get to see all those things? Having been through the loss of a parent and the arrival a new baby in the past couple of years I can tell you from this end of things there is no value in any online "presence" of friends and family.
The people who come to meet our new baby, who brought food, and who attended the funeral are the ones that actually impacted our lives and improved us and themselves. A DM or post in Instagram meant nothing - it feels more like the person is signaling human emotions than engaging in them.
It means something to me. So I continue to use the service.
Facebook is the creepiest site ever. It's way more than the Stasi could have ever hoped for.
On top of that, the interface makes my brain hurt.