As an investment banking analyst it is often times very difficult to stay in touch with your friends. You may live within 10 blocks of your good friends but still not see them because of the hours and your lack of willingness to move when you have free time. Thank god for Facebook. Thanks to this great website, investment banking analyst can see their friends all the time! Hell, I can even poke my best friend to remind him I’m thinking of him. And if I’m really crazy, I can let everyone that I’m alive and post a message on someone’s wall to say hello, since just emailing or calling is just out of style these days.
Some investment banks allow Facebook to be used at work, while some want to restrict their analysts from any relationships with the outside world so they block the website. For the analysts who can use Facebook at work, this provides not only a great procrastination tool, but also a way to become friends with your coworkers. And by “friends” I mean friends on Facebook since every analyst has walked by his or her boss’s office and seen him on Facebook checking out his buddy’s new photos. The first time I saw my boss on Facebook I thought it was hilarious since I figured people in their mid-30s wouldn’t be joining a site that wasn’t started until they were way out of college. But then I came to realize that they too have been stuck in the office 100 hours a week so they need Facebook to stay in touch with their wives and kids…
The best Facebook experience was when I was working with one of my bosses on a deal for a client who was being a real pain. We were at our respective desks at around 10pm on a Friday night when a message from him pops up on my screen. A link to Facebook is in the message which makes me chuckle. Then I open the link to find a photo of our client who had been emailing us on a beach in a man-thong. A sight for sore eyes, but a great bonding experience with my boss. It’s not every day you get to see the true stalker within your boss.
I agree that my generation is more awkward in social situations (at least I am) due to the fact that we grew up chatting on AOL and living in a Facebook world. But, what we lack in one-on-one conversation skills, we make up for in our ability to never to navigate the Facebook interface in milliseconds and poke 20 people in 10 seconds. It may seem like a useless skill now, but in a world that is becoming more and more ruled by the internet and virtual communications, I say my generation is well prepared to rule the world. Go poke yourself!