Saturday, June 5, 2010

Book Review: Facebook Fairytales

In this technology-driven world we're living in, Facebook has become not just a phenomenon, but a way of life. It is home to over 350 million users, and 8 billion minutes are spent on it daily. If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest in the world.

Facebook can be a time waster, a way to stay in touch with old friends or even a good business tool. But even more, the social networking juggernaut connects people in almost fascinating ways... it's not just a way for you to check out a friend of friend's wedding pictures (you creeper, you!). Many people practice goodwill on Facebook. Recently, my friend's fiance lost his wallet in a parking lot. He pretty much thought it was gone for good, when someone contacted him -- via Facebook! -- and said he had his wallet.

This story is a small-time example of the ones you'll find in Emily Liebert's Facebook Fairytales: Modern-Day Miracles to Inspire the Human Spirit. Liebert tells 25 different stories about people and Facebook, and some of them are just miraculous. Sisters reunite after 40 years
together; a couple finds a child to adopt; a sick mother finds a kidney donor; a family finds their cat after moving to a different city. There's even a story of an American girl saving a British boy from suicide after he sent her a random Facebook message. Another inspiring story is of a girl who dies of meningitis and how her parents use Facebook to prevent other children from dying of the disease.

There's also some names you'll recognize in this book. Comedian Johnny Dam talks about how Facebook help him land a TV show. Peter Shankman, founder of a handy tool I use all the time, the Web site Help a Reporter Out, describes how his brain child started on Facebook. Philadelphians may recognize the name of local journalist Brian Hickey. Hickey suffered major injuries after being involved in a hit-and-run accident. He's currently using Facebook to try to track down the person who hit him.

Oh, and there's another name I'm sure you'll recognize: Barack Obama. No, it's not about the President's personal Facebook use, but how Chris Hughes, who helped conceive Facebook with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, used Facebook to bring Obama's presidental campaign to new heights.

For all Facebook fans, this book is a fun and inspirational read, teaching us just how much Facebook can help bring people together and create miracles.

Facebook Fairytales is available from Skyhorse Publishing.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary advanced review copy of this book from the publisher.

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