Facebook is expected to hit the 500-million user mark sometime this week, a milestone that's long been expected but one the social networking juggernaut plans to celebrate by asking users to share their stories of how Facebook has affected their lives. You can even share yours with Facebook using a special form they've set up, and the company says it plans to share the best stories with its entire audience. While it's still derided by skeptics as everything from a privacy risk to a waste of time to a destroyer of face-to-face interaction, it's getting harder and harder to deny that social networks like Facebook are revolutionizing the way people communicate. If you doubt it, just drop in later this week when the networking group Social Media Charlotte holds its monthly breakfast at Mez uptown. A panel of local business owners will talk about how they've used social networks like Facebook to build their brand and customer base. There are issues of real concern that the rise of social networks present -- none, perhaps, loom larger than ensuring the proper handling of people's private information. Still, there's no putting this particular genie back in the bottle, I'm afraid. There's even a Facebook movie about to hit theaters, for pete's sake.
What do you think? Has the advent of social networks like Facebook done more good than harm? Has anything happened to you on Facebook that's given you an experience or "story" worth sharing with 500 million people?