With a title like that, you might think that a major life event just happened and I am announcing it with a very cryptic title that might entice you to read this blog, but I am letting you down. Today is the 10 year anniversary of Facebook. Mark Zuckerburg would be the one to lead the charge in changing the face of social networking as we know it from his Harvard dorm room.
Think about it. Blogging was just taking off. Most of the 20 somethings had either a livejournal, xanga, and/or a myspace page. Our primary mode of communication was not text messaging because those plans were outrageously expensive and it didn’t exist for a long time. No, our primary mode of communication was AOL Instant Messenger. Why? Because it was free. We would sit at the computer for hours and hours chatting it up with our friends hacking away at the English language and making to to resemble s0mEtHinG lyk dish ~! ^.^ Don’t lie, you remember those days. And you remember those days when you would write angsty and emotionally charged cryptic messages in your profile or have a date written as a reminder of the day your most recent significant other agreed that you two were going to be a couple and do coupley things like take cute pictures together and engage in way too much PDA so everyone knew you two were together.
Facebook made social networking exclusive; a sort of cool-kids-only-club; invite only. It was exactly that; invite only. People before that never really had the opportunities to list personal information that could be accessed by anyone within the network of the website. Each person had the option of creating a personal webpage for FREE… FREE! No domain buying, no coding, no monthly subscription charges, just FREE. It didn’t take long for it to take off.
Today, pictures abound. It was a catalyst in helping launch other various forms of social networking. Some failed while others succeeded. People are more narcissistic than ever. Average people now have a platform for sharing just about anything from opinions on current events, how-to videos, covers of pop tunes, to photo sharing in various forms.
Facebook has even changed the way we talk [or don’t] to each other. A phone was just a phone. It was plugged into a wall and if you were lucky it was cordless with a handheld remote. But you had to watch out and not spend too much time talking to your sweetie otherwise the battery would die. The most exciting thing about a cell phone to a young cell phone user was if it had snake on it. Brick phone with the brick display and Snake was the game to play. Now, phones enable us to have the world at our fingertips with the swipe of a finger on a screen with no buttons or keypads.
We’re now more impatient than ever.
We’re less resourceful than ever.
We memorize fewer phone numbers.
We can’t read a map to save our lives, or get us to our destination for that matter, that’s what a GPS is for.
We can’t spell… or use correct grammar anymore.
Our attention spans are severely diminished.
Our children aren’t as active anymore, preferring the use of tablet devices instead of throwing and catching a ball or running around outside.
We are more connected than ever, yet more of us are feeling lonely and left out.
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and NOMOphobia (No Mobile phobia) were categorized phobias.
We are more distracted than ever.
We are busier than ever. Business and work now have access to our home lives and for some, work doesn’t just stay at the office.
Our etiquette and manners are awful. At no point should everyone at the dinner table be on a social networking site/cell phone instead of engaging in conversation; you know that thing people do where they talk about stuff and enjoy being together. Yeah, those were the days…
– sexting (this should be self-explanatory).
I’m only listing the things that came to my head at this very moment. There are more negatives, but there are positives: being able to keep contact with people who move far distances, reconnecting with long lost friends, “skyping” to maintain a long-distance relationship, texting random encouragements to your sweetie at work instead of having to deliver a potentially disruptive phone call, and convenience that makes life just a little bit easier, among other things.
Like it or not, Facebook has indeed shaped and changed our world in a very significant and profound way. There is no doubt that Zuckerburg is one of the most influential figures of our generation. If it were not for his innovation there would be no way of finding those long lost photos from that night you blacked out at that party and couldn’t remember anything. Oh, you had a good time, see! Look at these…. =)