10 years of Facebook

Does anyone remember life before Facebook? I certainly do, but it was different; very, very different.  On this very auspicious birthday (10 years ago today, Facebook came to life), I thought it might be nice to share with everyone my views on Facebook and why I think it changed our world.

In 2007, I logged on to Facebook for the first time. I can’t say I remember the exact moment it happened. I used to be an active member of MySpace and this seemed like the next exciting thing, so I thought, why not?

It’s strange to look back at all the posts I’ve made and all the status updates. It’s like having a written version of my life online. We don’t always think of what can happen to us in the span of 7 years, but on Facebook, you see your life flash in front of you, literally.

There have been a lot of positive and a lot of negative aspects to this popular social networking tool. Cyberbullying is the first negative one I can think of. Before Facebook, bullying occurred on school grounds, at recess. It was easier to see, and in a way, bullies these days are more cowardly than before (although all bullies are cowards in the end). Bullying someone you don’t have to look at face to face must be a lot easier, which is why I have a strong belief, it has caused this terrible phenomenon to increase in frequency and severity. Unfortunately, the results have been disastrous.

Many blame Facebook … but is that really fair? Bullying was always around. I remember being bullied as a kid. They now have a new outlet for their attacks, but they probably would have found one anyway. A bully will always be a bully and this will always be around. Until the punishment for these acts equals the effect they have on the kids that take the brunt of them, nothing will ever change.

I have had many positive, wonderful experiences on Facebook. I have reconnected with people I lost contact with, friends I had missed. I made friends with new people through shared experiences and common interests. When I think about all that’s happened in my life in the past 7 years, I find it absolutely amazing that I can go back and relive it all online. From the very silly (having a glass of wine with supper tonight) to the very sad (announcing to friends and family the passing of my amazing dad), Facebook has been through it all with me, and in turn, so have all my friends. We have become closer because of it and although many of these friends have come and gone from my list, the ones that remain are the ones I truly am thankful for.

When Facebook inevitably ceases to exist, I would like to think that I will keep in touch with all these people.  Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. One never knows what the future holds. And maybe Facebook will lead to another site that will be even more significant and poignant to 1 billion active users in the world. Until that time, I am taking every silly, annoying and wonderful status update and appreciating it all. For life, and all that it contains, are a series of fleeting moments. And for the past 10 years, Facebook has been there to record them all.