Chances are you already spend too much time of Facebook, but we’ve gathered a few examples of how to make this massive social network start working for you. And if you haven’t yet drunk the Facebook Kool-Aid, prepare to be indoctrinated.

1. It doesn’t cost a thing. Facebook is the best way for the fiscally challenged to socialize. It’s a high school reunion, drinks out with work friends, a wedding and a baby shower all in one. Facebook is a party for people who can’t afford to leave the house.

2. Find your next job. So you lost your job. Who hasn’t? The best way to get yourself working again is good old fashioned nepotism. Remember that intern you took under your wing a decade ago? How 'bout that boss who made you atch his kid on bring your daughter to work day? They’re on Facebook. In fact, they’d love to return the favor, but they don’t even know you’re looking for a job. On Facebook, you have instant access to just about everyone you’ve ever known.

3. Facebook is the best dating site on the web.
You know you’ve got an ex you wonder about. If you want to know if she’s married, single, or still thinking about you, check out her status on Facebook. It’s passive and lurky, sure, but it totally removes the awkwardness. Maybe she lives down the street; maybe she’s been looking for love in all the wrong places and wants you back. Don’t you want to know? If she’s posting her status as “married,” click through to her husband’s page and give the lucky guy a once over. And…hold on, is that the girl you ignored in calculus? When did she get so…hot? and eHarmony will set you back a few bucks. For those who want to rekindle, Facebook is the best dating site around, minus the monthly subscription fee.

4. You’ll never be alone again. A high school friend of mine was dumped on Valentine’s Day. Though I haven’t spoken to him in 20 years, I sent him a note to boost his spirits when he posted the news. I was among 50 others who did the same. Bottom line: Best breakup he ever had. Or maybe you have a meeting in St. Paul? Tallahassee? Chances are you know someone who lives there that you didn’t know you knew. Say no to the chicken fingers at the hotel bar; share a meal with that new old friend on Facebook.

5. Private investigator for the frugal. Remember when we used to Google people? That’s so 2004. For the real scoop, there’s Facebook. Your babysitter’s coke habit? Facebook. Your straight sister's lesbian fling? Facebook. I have a colleague who recently friended his college-age niece. While looking through her photos, he saw a great party she threw—in his ski cabin. Lesson: Only look for what you want to find on Facebook.

6. See the future, today. Don’t wait for high school reunion; forget the $100 ticket for well drinks at the highway Hilton. If you want to know if the high school bully got fat, you know where to look. And how ‘bout that mean girl who used to pour diet soda on zitty kids in the lunchroom? She just asked to be my friend. If observations like this sound like a fun way to spend a no-cost night at home, Facebook’s for you.

7. You’re already there. Your fourth grade class picture has been posted by one of your old classmates. So has your prom picture, bad dancing pics from your best friend’s wedding and snaps from Cancun Spring Break ‘96. Since you’re on Facebook already, you might as well post a photo you like. As was messaged to me in my first week of Facebook, “Welcome to your past; we’ve been waiting for you.”


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