Facebook has reminded me that I joined TEN years ago today. When I first heard about this social networking website I thought “Facebook? What a stupid name!” Now I check the site multiple times each day on my phone (read: addict).
Robin was my first Facebook “friend” and, according to our friend-iversary video, we like each other a lot — 1,672 times so far.
In the early days, we referred to ourselves in the third person for some reason. (i.e. “Andrew is looking forward to a fun date with his wife tonight.”) We rarely posted photos because we didn’t have smart phones then, and we checked the site once or twice a week. We often shared mundane stuff — “Andrew is getting ready to do the dishes.” 😂
For better or for worse, Facebook has become a major part of my life. It is here that I interact regularly with friends, old and new. Facebook allows me to see what my friends are doing, what events they’re attending and what they are thinking about. I get to read lots of opinions from multiple perspectives.
Yes, there is sometimes unnecessary drama and some online interactions get out of control. I find it fascinating that social media allows us to freely exercise our First Amendment rights, checked only by our own sense of decorum.
Some criticize online socializing as being inferior to face-to-face interactions. I agree. However, for me, Facebook simply enhances my social connections. I can think of dozens of instances over the past decade where my online interactions have led to a lunch, an activity or a reunion with friends that I would have otherwise lost touch with. Other friendships, which simply aren’t practical to maintain in person due to geographic separation and busy lives, can still thrive in this space. For that I’m extremely grateful.
An entertainer to my core, I see Facebook as a virtual stage to inform, amuse and maybe even inspire a bit. “Likes” are my virtual applause, although I much prefer comments on my posts as it’s a better way of connecting with friends, which is my primary reason for being on Facebook.
Is there a danger in oversharing, in becoming addicted to that virtual limelight? Absolutely. Is there a tendency to “humble brag” or to not be fully genuine as one carefully crafts one’s online persona/brand? Sure. I’m fully aware of these perils and frequently fret about whether I’m using this medium appropriately.
One of my brothers (who considers himself an introvert and rarely checks Facebook) once told me that Facebook is perfect for someone like me — an entertainer and an extreme extrovert. When all is said and done, it’s relationships that matter most. I’m on Facebook because of you; because I value our connection so much.
Thanks for your friendship!