#SocialMedia Social Good: Facebook as Scrapbook

Category: Social Media Social Good Series

Instamatic Kodak camera with flash cube


How do you use Social Media? How do your friends use it? And, how do those that you know that don’t use Social Media, think of it? A recent post I put on Facebook provided some clarity for me and reinforced one of the main purposes of Social Media in my life.

Fotomat Kodak

Remember when we had cameras and we took film to a store to develop and make prints? Remember when we made photo albums by hand and lovingly annotated the photos as well as edited the piles of photo envelopes we accumulated over time? Remember birth, wedding, and anniversary cards? Remember invitations on fine paper with return envelopes that were stamped? Remember stamps? Remember Christmas cards (vs. Holiday cards)?

I have about 100 photo albums that I carefully put together from the hundreds, thousands of photos I took with my various cameras as my children came into my life and grew. The boys still love looking at those albums. I lug them around whenever I move.

Photo albums

I also have dozens, if not hundreds of photos placed in frames that used to line different walls and shelves of my house(s). I emphasize, “used to” because in our new, but smaller home, my wife wanted less (everything).

My dad used to take 8mm movies. He painstakingly edited them, by hand, and we would view them as a family on his home movie projector on a screen that he would put up in the living room. No sound. He’d make titles on a felt board with plastic letters.

8mm film

Think things may be a bit different today?

How many of us take photos regularly with a camera that is only a camera? Same with video? How many of us use our smart-phones for most of the documenting of most events in our lives. Yes, we may bring out the pocket camera or GoPro if certain events or activities merit it. But, as the quality and ease of filming gets better and better with each new generation of phone, the ease of simply using our phones is increased.

How does all this relate to Social Media use and, specifically, how I use Facebook? It’s simple. Facebook is my family scrapbook as well as the forum and place I keep most of my life’s journey. I use Facebook as much for me as to inform others of what my family and I are doing.

It's snowing

Consequently, I’ve posted tons of photos from my recent journey moving to Park City. I documented buying the lot, the building and progress of our new home, and photo after photo of the view and animal life we now encounter.

Deer in motion

Since I now have my own backyard golf course, I post picture after picture of golfing. With the ski season about to begin, I will do the same with the snow and the skiing and the amazing views/vistas.

This is for me. This is my record of my life in much the same way as those photo albums that gather dust in storage boxes. I can access “my life” anywhere/anytime and it will likely be there as long as I’m alive and probably for some time after I’m gone. My boys can also access it anywhere/anytime.


So, when my good friend Larry bemoans the 476th golf photo, I good-naturedly tell him to just scroll past them. IF he and others care to view a photo, photo album, or video I post, swell. But, it’s as much for my family and me as it is to trumpet any particular event in my life to the world, however trivial it may seem to others.

When I recently posted two photos and a paragraph about my being sworn in as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate – for children “in the system”), I was overwhelmed with “likes” and supportive comments. This was in sharp contrast to the response or lack of response to most all of my “selfish” photo posts and updates. No surprise; no worries.

Casa swearing in1

That made this realization as to why and how I use Social Media so much clearer. The CASA post was new, it was a positive development in my life, and it was much more interesting than yet another photo of me or my wife pointing to a golf ball inches from the hole, or another photo or video of deer around our home or on the golf course.

I don’t care. Social Media is my diary of sorts, though I leave out any deep personal things. It is my record of my life. I love it!