The way I found out there was such a thing as Facebook Places was from several friends updating their statuses with detailed instructions on how to disable it. Unless somebody takes the trouble to explain to me what it is (and catches me sober and awake enough to pay attention), I'll never even know what the hell it is. But as with so much on Facebook, ignorance is bliss.
It's been pretty useful for me to keep up with people I may never see or hear from otherwise. I have moved and pretty much started over with a new social group every 4-5 years and enjoy keeping up with most of them (others are blocked or their friend requests are declined).
I don't think a person could have a better utility to give keen insight into the alienating malaise that is modern living more perfectly than facebook. Facebook seems to be composed of bored, exhausted, and lonely people who would rather cryptically allude to their loneliness, or in some cases neurosis, then actually go to a bar and just talk to someone.