JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX)- Walk into any college computer lab, and you're bound to see it. Facebook. Like it or not, this phenomenon that's swept college campuses is now a way of life for coeds.
"More people are getting on it, like my bosses are on it, and my friends from high school, and even my friend's little siblings are on it now," said Haley Woodward, a freshman at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Jackson County Campus.
Just a few years ago, Facebook was considered one of the biggest time wasters in America, and was restricted to the college students who made it successful. But now, it's becoming quite an effective communication tool. The masters of this technology aren't necessarily engineers or inventors; they're students and young adults.
Kaycee King signed up for Facebook last fall when she started college. What she found surprised her. What she thought was a fun hobby, is actually a crucial part of her college career.
"Facebook is where I can find out things about homework, if I need to find out some information or talk to a teacher," King said.
With more and more students accessing internet from their mobile devices, Facebook is becoming one of the quickest communication tools around.
"It's really convenient," Woodward said.
College staff at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Jackson County Campus are tapping in to stay connected with students. Guidance Counselor Sheri Stanford and Student Activities coordinator Sonya Edwards both have Facebook accounts, and use them to pass important information along to students.
"I find that with the younger generation, they're using this more and more," Stanford said. "And I might not be able to get them through email, text or phone, but I can find them on Facebook."
Edwards signed on for personal reasons first, but it wasn't long before she started using the site to plan and promote campus events.
"I just started creating events to let students know what was going on on campus," Edwards said. "I think its more personal than email. Especially when you're sharing the photos and sharing quick comments. It's just kind of an ongoing conversation."
At Avanti Salon in Gulfport, Mario Le is using that same conversation to promote his business.
"I love to use technology, love to be on the computer all the time," Le said. "And of course being a new business, advertising can get expensive."
He created a Facebook group to represent his business on the site. He posts pictures, announces promotions, and offers deals to his clients on Facebook. He's even booked a few salon appointments through Facebook on his computer and his cell phone.
"I show pictures of our polish rack," said Le. "Which we use is OPI. Our pedicure chairs are also featured on Facebook."
For Le, the decision to use Facebook for business was a simple one.
"If all the clients are on Facebook, then why not use it as a business promotion?" he said.
Whether promoting a business, or taking a class, many people agree Facebook is making a permanent mark on our world.
"I think tools like Facebook or other social media sites," Edwards said, "I think they're most likely here to stay."