If you've ever wanted an antidote to the usual Internet fear mongering in the media, Facebook Fairytales by Emily Liebert is it. Filled with a variety of stories about love, job promotions and even saving lives, this book shows off the nice side of social networking and proves that human beings really do care about each other.
Each story is brief and often includes snippets from wall posts and messages, depicted as callouts in the text, which make them that much more readable. The writing itself is direct and unassuming. Despite being a book promoting the wonders of Facebook, the writing never veers into an evangelistic or overenthusiastic tone. There's no overarching story that ties any of these tales together, which might be disconcerting to some, but it means readers can skip through and read the stories that are of most interest to them without missing anything.
While many of the stories are captivating and represent amazing examples of the connections people make in Facebook, some stretch the social network's role in the tale too much. One amazing story about a woman who decides to donate a kidney to a stranger after a mutual friend posts the request to Facebook is a truly wonderful example of someone using Facebook to reach out and do something useful for a fellow human being.
On the other hand, a later story about the tragic death of a teenager from meningitis, only includes a Facebook connection at the end, when grieving friends and family set up a cause page for meningitis. The example just isn't as powerful. Certainly not every example can be life-saving or heroic, but the stories are definitely uneven in their seriousness and in their connection to Facebook. In most, Facebook plays a fairly significant role; the outcome, however, may not be that earth-shattering.
If you have friends who are Facebook skeptics, Fairytales would be a great book to get them. Even the lighter stories are heart-warming and might be enough to bring anyone around to the idea that not everyone on the Internet is mean.