My early days of using Facebook were some of the more regrettable times in my life. I discovered Facebook back in 2008 when it was just beginning to take over MySpace as the most popular social network. At this point in time, making a profile was extremely scandalous. Parents vehemently believed that social networking sites were a breeding ground for predators, and that making a profile meant instant abduction. That meant that the kids my age that had Facebook profiles were seen as edgy and cool. Naturally, the James Dean inside of me needed to be as suave and dangerous as possible, so I created my account.
I spent little time establishing unimportant things like my interests and tastes and skipped right through to the end. I posted a picture of myself wearing a beanie, sunglasses indoors, and, of course, posing with a gang sign. Damn I was cool.
I began friending and poking as many people as possible because your peers obviously judge you based on your Facebook friend count. Soon enough I was a frien with everyone I knew from school, plus some other unknown entities that are still quietly lurking in the depths of my friends list. Now that I had friends, it was time to satisfy my network of friends, chomping at the bit to hear the precious nuggets of wisdom my mind could concoct.
To this day I cannot understand why my Dalai Lama-esque musings of philosophical greatness only garnered one or two likes. I guess some things will remain a mystery.
As I got older and more mature, my Facebook use branched out to more than just playing games and letting everyone know how sexy I am. I began actually having conversations with people through the chat feature, and becoming informed about the semi-important happenings of my network of friends. Facebook became my most frequently visited site, acting as a sort of base camp for my Internet experience. I started to become more socially aware, learning the basic dos and don’t of social media. For instance, it is not acceptable to relentlessly preach your religion on Facebook. It is a place of interaction and information sharing, not a place of religious conversion or beratement. There’s also an unspoken limit to how many things it is ok to post in a single day. I do not log on only to find out what you’re doing with your life.
Learning all these rules and expectations turned me into a very judgmental person online. Although I may not say something about it, you can be sure that if you do something stupid or even remotely of course with what I believe to be acceptable on Facebook, I judged you. I may have even let out a sharp, snide breath from my nostrils to show my distaste. I know, it’s some really brutal stuff.
Coming up to present day, I’ve liked so many useless pages on Facebook for discounts on amazon and all sorts of cheap things that my newsfeed is just a foreign mass of misleading headlines and advertisements. Of course it’s still my most visited website, and will probably remain my base camp of the Internet until some newer, hipper social media trend consumes it; but now its more of an obligation than an interest.