Not so long ago, I was reluctant to jump into social media. I wasn’t really aware of its scope, and had been turned off by the thought of actually interacting with other people on the Internet, due to the horror stories that were regularly being showcased on Dateline and other primetime news shows. Despite my misgivings, though, I wanted to give it a try, so I created a MySpace account, where I wrote my first blog, connected with friends, and learned basic HTML. Life was good.
It wasn’t long after, however, that MySpace began its rapid decline, attracting the lion’s share of negative press for becoming a seedy haven for spammers, stalkers, child predators, and identity thieves. Like all once flourishing neighborhoods, it was suffering the wounds of time and corruption, and I wanted out.
When I packed up and left MySpaceTown, I was left holding my bags, wondering where I would go. I didn’t know much about Facebook, except that a LOT of people were joining. At the time, that seemed to be a good enough reason for me.
I was one of the first (definitely not the first, though) of my MySpace friends, to create an account. I sort of tested the water, poked around, and would report back to my “other” friends. After my initial thoughts of, “Geez, this sure is boring. Where are the glitter graphics? Where’s all the music? Why is there no place for me to put my ‘I haven’t had my coffee. Don’t make me kill you.’ sign?” I began to embrace the change.
I would email my friends and send messages out via MySpace, urging them to join me, because, let’s face it, I was a little lonely. It wasn’t before too long that I had happily collected my friends (some as reluctant as I was), and began to build a home.
Over the past four years, I (and the rest of the country) have watched Facebook’s evolution from a website where you could only join as part of a college network, to a website where people are connected with their parents, kids, neighbors, teachers, and clergy. Mind-blowing if you ask me.
Facebook’s evolution over time, on the whole, has been well-received. Sure, people were upset when the site was tweaked, new features were added, or processes were changed. People kicked and screamed when the “new” Facebook was rolled out. Still no one left.
I, in my times of ennui, would update my status as such. I would throw questions out there like, “When is Facebook going to fall out of favor?” I was, in essence, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for the next big thing to come along and steal the attention of the millions of Facebook subscribers. But it never happened.
It’s only recently that I’ve accepted (truly accepted) that Facebook has become woven into this country’s fabric. It’s here to stay. I can’t say I agree or disagree with this, in fact, I’m more in awe of it than anything else.
Think about it: How many days out of seven are you not connected in some way to Facebook?
Outside? Putzing around with your dog? What do you do? Upload you pictures of the happily panting pup to Facebook. Dinner with your family? Check in on Facebook. Need to discuss upcoming plans with a friend? Write it on their wall. Birth? Wedding? Birthday? Graduation? Facebook. Facebook. Facebook. Facebook. Like a product or service? Facebook. Read a good book? Facebook. See a movie you enjoyed? Facebook. Your kid have a cute Halloween costume? Facebook. See where this is headed?
There is literally no aspect of our lives that is untouched by the bony fingers of social media, namely Facebook or Twitter. (Don’t worry, Twitter is another story for another day.) More so, there’s very rarely a day for us with which Facebook is not somehow involved. And people don’t even have to be convinced or bribed to do this. They want to. And, the funnier part is, none of this is considered an addiction or perversion. It’s become a way of life.
No one was more skeptical of this entire machine than myself. No one was more interested in how things would look when the bubble burst than me. But I’ve been waiting. A long time. And it’s just not happening.
So, I resign, not so unhappily, and fall in with the masses. Besides, it’s about time I post those pictures of my son at the beach.