Although I may be a bit behind in this, I just finished watching "The Social Network". Despite being a Facebooker, I never really was all that interested in how it got its start. Or maybe I didn't want to know as I am always the one looking for what Justin Timberlake states in the film: "A once in a lifetime, generation changing holy sh-t idea" and I was envious.
When we think about what life was like before Facebook it almost seems non-existent. The idea that a twenty two year old college student can claim responsibility for connecting people all over the world, reunite grade school friends, rekindle lost romance and so many other variables is hard to wrap my head around.
My daughters had Facebook pages however I never paid any attention. They were both out of high school and it was appropriate age wise. It was only when I started to hear that people my own age were starting to create pages that I took any notice at all. What a fun new toy!
It was a whole new world. I was finding old friends that I had thought of often; reconnecting with former work associates. It was only when I started getting "friend" requests from vague acquaintances from grade school that I started to wonder if it was so much fun anymore. In an attempt to block one person from commenting on every post I made, I accidentally deleted her as a friend. That created a scandal in itself and I literally felt as though I was back in high school. Funny, it was someone from high school.
As with anything, there are positives and negatives to this phenomenon. The positives? I have found old friends that I now keep in touch with regularly. I am able to view photos of those friends, their families, even some of them are starting to have grandkids. If someone has a birthday, I am more prone to remembering when I am reminded! On occasion I can chat with old friends and get caught up. It's just nice. The negatives? People using it to spy on their kids. Kids using it to bully and harass other kids. Married people rekindling old flames and ending up divorced. I don't request the "friendship" of anyone I talked to in first grade for ten minutes. I truly believe that no one cares if I just went to the grocery store or to the bathroom. Maybe in the colleges a status update was good to let people know what you had done the night before or what your plans for the weekend were. That is social networking. It is NOT social networking when someone says they just got finished mowing the lawn. Just my opinion.
I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg ever saw into the future that Facebook would reach the heights that it has. Of course he saw it spreading to schools all over the world but to baby boomers and their parents as well? Now we all have Facebook on our phones and cause traffic accidents checking it. Newest feature? Cars that can vocally update your status. We can play games in virtual worlds and drive other people crazy with those status updates. I am not sure he, in all his confidence and arrogance could even imagine this.
Yes, I will continue to check my Facebook several times a day. For the good things it offers I enjoy that. But now that I saw this film, it's time for me to start thinking again about that once in a lifetime generation changing holy sh-t idea. Perhaps I could become the world's oldest female to become a billionaire. One can dream.