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Keeping up with life on Facebook

Parents have many ways to keep up with what's happening. From telephone trees and newsletters to back yard gossip, there have always been many ways for parents to stay in touch with events and activities in the community.

With the advent of smartphones and other mobile devices, Facebook users often post status updates wherever they go
With the advent of smartphones and other mobile devices, Facebook users often post status updates wherever they goSandy Wallace

Over the past 10 years, Facebook has become a favorite go-to place for many parents. The social media giant celebrates its tenth anniversary in February 2014.

The company was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and fellow Harvard University students as a way for Harvard students to stay in touch with one another.

Over time, Facebook expanded to include students at other colleges, then added access for high school students. The company eventually made access available to anyone who is at least 13 years old.

As parents and grandparents have flocked to Facebook, many teens have moved away from the social media giant, opting to stay in touch with Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or text messages.

As adults joined Facebook, businesses quickly realized they had a new platform to reach potential customers.

Businesses find many uses for Facebook. When a new restaurant or retail store opens, Facebook is flooded with reviews and information.

Check Facebook on any winter morning. School systems, preschools and businesses update delay and closing information on Facebook.

Although many parents receive text or email updates, some parents go straight to Facebook to find out whether school will be open or closed. Facebook updates are often posted before delays and closings appear on local news stations.

Facebook users post questions on Facebook business pages and expect instant responses. In many instances, the responses are instant or near instant.

Thanks to ConstantContact and other social media marketing companies, business updates are posted regularly and questions are answered.

Savvy business owners now use Facebook for everything from announcing sales to holding contests. Like and share has become a common way for business owners to measure the impact their social media marketing is making.

With the advent of smartphones and other mobile devices, more people stay in touch during the work day. You can find Facebook status updates from family and friends all day instead of just when computers are available.

In an age when fewer families subscribe to local newspapers or receive local news coverage from TV, many families also turn to Facebook for local news and events.

Many businesses create Facebook events to notify fans about upcoming sales or specials. As a fan shares an event with friends, more people learn about the event.

For far-flung families, Facebook offers a way to stay in touch. Grandparents, aunts and uncles can watch the younger members of the family grow up as easily as if they lived nearby.

Whether keeping in touch with distant family members, staying on top of local happenings or interacting with old friends, Facebook has made a positive impact on today's families.

Nobody could have imaged 10 years ago the ways Facebook would touch the lives of its users. Does your family use Facebook to keep in touch?