It’s Facebook’s world … at least according to Facebook

I got a message the other day that I had been friends with someone for 10 years on Facebook.

The only reason we have been friends for 10 years is because I’ve only been on Facebook that long. In real life, she’s one of my best friends, and has been for more than 30 years.

Sure, the message was probably just Faceook’s AI and algorithm doing their thing, but let’s face it, to Facebook, pretty much nothing exists outside of Facebook.

“I first joined Facebook in June of 2007, the summer before my junior year of high school. I joined because I had heard my friends talking about Facebook for a couple of months, and posting pictures and having conversations, and I wanted to have access to that information, too—a symptom of what we would now call fear of missing out (FOMO).”

— Caitlin Roetheli, Austin, Texas, “Letters: When and Why Did You Join—or Quit—Facebook?” The Atlantic

My wife and a college friend of mine were talking trash about me on Facebook. That’s literally why I joined, so I could respond to them. It was, I believe, New Year’s Day 2009.

Not the most-interesting origin story ever, but, and I know this is going to seem crazy in 2019, being on Facebook was once exciting.

I mean, really exciting.

Here was this place where I could catch up with all my friends from high school and college and work! Every day was like a new discovery … who I could find, who could find me!

It was a time when people’s status messages were actually what they were doing, or what they were thinking. We referred to it at “Internet crack” and meant it.

My wife and I joke about how we knew I was hooked when we heard an NPR host solemnly say that most of their listeners were probably not familiar with the Wu-Tang Clan, and I ran from our kitchen to the living room so I could fire off a post saying “You think?” or something like that.

Relatively speaking, I’ve never had that many friends. I think it’s only about 160 now, and I probably only interact with about 20 to 25 of them on any regular basis.

And at the age of my friends and family, if you’re not on Facebook, you’re probably not going to be, so if there are even three people left in the world I’d want to be friends with who I’m not, they’re probably not going to be showing up.

“Since college, my Facebook use has mostly tapered off. I usually check it one to two times a day, but don’t really post anything. Mostly Facebook is now used as a way to remember people’s birthdays and to plan and schedule events with large groups of friends. If I post anything, it’s usually sharing interesting news articles I think people should read.” — Caitlin Roetheli

I mostly just post photos (travel ones seem to do well) and crack wise. I even still have the same profile photo — a picture of my wife and I at a spring training game in Arizona.

The other day, I told a friend upset that Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was younger than her that the next stage in feeling old was when she realized college freshman could easily be her children.

And of course, because it’s Facebook, it’s American and it’s 2019, she made sure to preface her comments by making clear she was NOT writing a political post.

Ahhh … yes, politics. I have come to find arguing about it to be pointless, and if someone shares a status I don’t like, I just block the original source and be done with it. Other than that, I usually … usually … ignore it.

The other day, I read an article, also from The Atlantic, called “Facebook: Where Friendships Go to Never Quite Die,” but I wonder if what’s never quite dying is people’s relationship with Facebook itself.

Sure, it sucks a lot of the time, but it isn’t all bad … and plus you’re here already, right? Plus, how would I remember people’s birthdays and find out when the high school reunion is?

And sometimes I still have moments that I can’t wait to put on Facebook, like my cat Sasha wanting to help my wife bake.

As for that Wu-Tang Clan post? Maybe I’d still post it on Facebook. Maybe I’d put it on Twitter. Maybe I’d do both.

Or, if enough thoughts came together about it, I’d write a blog post …

… which I would then put on my blog’s Facebook page.



2 thoughts on “It’s Facebook’s world … at least according to Facebook

  1. Pingback: The week gone by — July 26 – A Silly Place

  2. Pingback: I heard Facebook and Instagram were down … – A Silly Place

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