It seems like just yesterday we were proudly posting pictures of keg stands, passed out university party people and group shots of our fellow frat boys or sorority sisters sporting their letters. These days, most of those pre-professional life party shots have magically disappeared from our albums, only to be replaced with wedding pictures, shots of civilized dinners with friends and, of course, carefully curated vacation shots designed to look like the most refined getaway ever. A lot can change in 10 years since Facebook, the social network we have a love/hate relationship with, came into existence, first changing the lives of American college students and eventually adding excitement to daily routines of our parents and even our grandparents.
We have compiled some of the best things that have happened as the result of Facebook:
We’re always entertained
Since the beginning, Facebook has offered hours of mindless entertainment, whether in creeping the lives of people we haven’t seen in years to the medium it offers to share hilarious pictures and videos. Of course, it also inspired the Oscar-winning film (well, three Oscars to be exact) The Social Network (2010).
We have become seasoned models because of Facebook
Especially in the early days, before we figured out how to hide our tagged photos, young females quickly learned how look better in pictures. This, of course, meant everything from the perfected skinny arm pose to our best side and angles, and even which outfits photograph the best. Like an insensitive boyfriend, Facebook was always there to remind us when it was time to hit the gym and cut back on the empty calories.
It helps us do good
Facebook has helped us all do a little good in the world. This means everything from spreading the word about a charitable cause or event to executing social media-based fundraising campaigns. It even acted as a medium to offer warmth and electricity to friends during December’s devastating ice storm in Ontario.
We miss fewer friends’ birthdays
Thanks to the birthday reminders, and the fact that most users do have their birthday posted (why wouldn’t you want your wall flooded with birthday wishes from a few hundred of your closest “friends”?), Facebook has enabled us to miss fewer birthdays. And if you write a really great wall post, you may not even need to call.
It has helped us grieve
One of the positives about Facebook is that it has been therapeutic in the grieving process of a friend or loved one (not to be too dark first thing in the morning). Not only does it provide a medium for people to connect and share memories and words of sympathy, but when a user dies and their page becomes a memorial, it offers a place to visit, reflect and see pictures.
The ones who got away never get too far
We know more than a couple of happy ending love stories among our friends that are the result of two people connecting on Facebook after years of lost time, only to fall in love all over again and end up together (and blasting a few hundred couples shots via the social network in the process). It also makes those missed connections so much easier to track down (like the time you didn’t get their number).
The cheaters’ game is made more difficult
Lets be honest; Facebook has been the catalyst for countless break-ups since the early days. Suspecting ladies and gents were rendered almost private investigators thanks to Facebook and the stellar creeping skills they gained (especially in the early days when people did not understand the whole privacy setting thing) and subsequently busted cheating partners in the process. On the other side of the coin, it has enabled us to do our background research so that we don’t end up with someone who neglects to mention their ”in a relationship” status.
There is no longer a need for awkward high school reunions
Thanks to Facebook, we know what all of our friends and acquaintances from high school are up to – the surprising underdogs who made it big, the ugly duckling come swan, the swan come ugly duckling, the ones with kids, the ones who are making the world a better place, and everything in between. The best part is that we can get all this info without having to make small talk at an awkward reunion, and in our sweats at home, as opposed to trying to look like we haven’t aged at all (because we haven’t, right?)
Our long distance bill isn’t as high
There is no need for a two-hour catch up phone call to out-of-town family members and friends. You both already know what the other has been up to thanks to Facebook, so the phone call can be short and sweet. Not only that, sometimes Facebook chat is more efficient and to the point (not to mention free) than a phone call in the first place.
We have learned to adapt quickly
Facebook’s timeline and features are known to never stay the same for too long. Love it or hate it, we have learned to adapt as the social network stays on top of the game in terms of layouts and features. Speaking of new features, if you haven’t heard, its latest is called Paper, a news app that replaces many parts of its original app in a streamlined version of Facebook.
We are all now living the dream
Thanks to Facebook, we are all now apparently living the most ”perfect” lives, as so carefully depicted by our Facebook pictures and status updates. Our vacations are always 10/10, our babies are always happy and never cry, our hair always looks this good, and our relationship is better than yours (in case you missed the shot of the flowers she posted, or the pics of his hot bikini-clad wife and him kissing under the waterfall that he just uploaded). Facebook has allowed us to curate the life we want others to think we lead (and inevitably has caused insecurity when we buy into these of others).
For longtime Facebook users, there is no denying it has changed our lives and our interactions with people. Even for the self-proclaimed Facebook haters… why haven’t you deleted your profile yet?
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)