For many Facebook users, Facebook is a place where people are able to express themselves and share meaningful or in other cases, trivial events that are happening in their daily lives. However, over the years, I realized that my individual involvement with this networking service has drastically decreased, regardless of the many significant events that have recently occurred in my life. It is pretty ironic that my Facebook profile states absolutely nothing or in some cases, presents the complete opposite about myself.
I joined Facebook on December 7th, 2007 for no particular reason. It was a trend. It was a fad. And, it was rumoured to be better than MySpace, so I signed up immediately. Back then, there was no pressure when uploading photos and no need to double check spelling when writing a post. I had nothing to hide from the 15 real friends whom I was sharing the information with. Today, I have over 500 eyes scanning each and every mark I leave behind.
I realized that as I grew and as Facebook itself expanded, my attitude towards the website had completely changed. I felt as if I had to protect and seclude myself from others, slowly forgetting Facebook’s concept of sharing and connecting. I noticed that I had started to change my privacy settings to restrict others from gaining access to my already inexistent Facebook life. I began to think twice when accepting friend requests and untagged myself from hundreds of photos. I don’t know why I was acting so paranoid at the time. I had nothing to hide, so why was I making such a big fuss?
Thinking back, I feel that my actions were sparked by insecurity. I felt uncomfortable with the whole concept of hundreds of people scrutinizing my actions. There were many instances when I tried to deactivate my account, but each time, there was always a reason why I could not. I did not realize that there were so many other functions that this networking service provided. If I were to delete my account, I would not get access to all my extracurricular Facebook groups and have to rely communicating with my friends via text instead of Facebook messenger. I finally realized how much Facebook really does contribute to my daily life and how varied all the tools this site offers. Gradually, I became more accustomed and felt comfortable to disclose a piece of my life to others.
Although I am content with the service that Facebook provides its users, my profile still only consists of occasional group photos and a series of birthday posts listed year after year. My profile states that I have no interests, no religious views, no favourite quotations, and no memorable life events.
I recognized that Facebook has become less about myself as an individual but has been used as a network to connect with others. It holds such diverse functions that are able to serve many different kinds of people. Whether it is through uploading photos, making posts, or creating events, this media site provides a playground where people, no matter how different they are, can come together and interact in a million different ways.