Happy 7th Birthday Facebook!

4 Feb

Today is Facebook’s 7th anniversary and I wanted to take some time to look back at the highs and lows of everyone’s favorite (or most hated) social networking site. Facebook has worked its way into our lives and has become a vital tool for most of our social interactions. How did people used to flirt before you could poke, wall post or private message your crush? I certainly don’t remember. We have all creeped, befriended, unfriended and blocked people – sometimes all of those repeatedly with the same person in the span of a few weeks. Our lives were never as exposed as they are on Facebook, but let’s be honest and not blame Zuckerberg for everything — we share as much as we want. I remember when I first heard of Facebook I was still living in Venezuela and my friend who went to university in New York showed me the site. Being the same internet nerd that I am now, I wanted to join without even knowing its purpose. I waited until my acceptance at U of T — in those days you could only sign up with a college or university email — and joined The Facebook (back when it had the article preceding it) with my academic email address. I had approximately 10 friends for about 5 months and you could only see a picture and some basic info.

I was still so excited about it I told everyone in my dorm — by December of 2005 I had more than 300 friends — and high school students were in it too. Then we started poking and uploading our 60-picture-limit albums, and began spending more time looking at people’s party pictures rather than going to actual parties. I feel like I’ve been to Asia just because I’ve seen about a quarter million pictures of the Full Moon party in Vietnam.

In 2006 the News Feed was introduced, and that just expedited everyone’s creeping abilities. You didn’t even have to search for the contacts anymore since all their current activity was presented to you as soon as you logged in. And then people complained — like they do every time there is some new change — because it was too cluttered and full of undesired information, while others protested it made it too easy to track your ex-boyfriends relationship status. Since then Zuckerberg has allowed us to keep some privacy to ourselves and to those we don’t mind seeing and judging our every move.
Now seven years after it was launched and six years since I have been on it, I can say Facebook is my link to many of my friends close and far. Its how I invite people to parties and how I get informed of them. Everyone I know has Facebook or has had it at some point, and whether we like it or not it was valued at $50 billion and 600 million people are registered on it. So, Facebook, we might hate you for being intrusive and gossipy but in the end we are all so into you… Happy Birthday!

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