Three years ago, in the middle of a late night study session I stopped to ever so briefly procrastinate on my favorite social network when my study partner leaned over my shoulder and asked me “When do you think you will stop using Facebook altogether?”
At the time I had been on Facebook for a little over two years. I signed up my senior year in high school, right after NYU (the college I had been accepted to) was added as the tenth or eleventh campus, to a then exclusively college social network. Even so I replied, “Probably after I graduate. I think I’ll delete my account when I’m 23 or 24.”
DELETE MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT?!
I can’t even imagine what that would mean to me now. Facebook has become the single most powerful social connector of my generation. In a series of blog posts I will chronicle the ways in which Facebook is largest innovation in the way that we communicate since the invention of the telephone.
Part 1 – Staying in Touch with “Friends”
Facebook is the way that we keep up with friends. Since I graduated from NYU and moved back to LA, I have found myself keeping in touch with almost all of my friends from the city on Facebook. This isn’t unusual, but what is, is the manner in which we stay in touch. I don’t communicate directly with 90% of them, and yet I am aware of what is going on in most of their lives. I watch them get in and out of relationships on my news feed, see pictures from the latest nightclubs in their photo albums, and casually eavesdrop of the conversations they have on their walls. Instead of writing to update them on what I am doing, I rest assured that they will be following me in the same semi-voyeuristic manner. Make no mistake – Facebook has permanently altered the way we stay in touch with friends, especially those casual acquaintances that we don’t see everyday.