I joined Facebook back in Nov. of 2006 before 90 percent of you posers did. ;) At the time it was still only allowed to college students. I remember my friend asked me if I had Facebook, and I was like, “Face what?” I had recently closed my Myspace account because of the ads on the side were slowly turning it into a soft porn website. When I checked out Facebook, it was clean, it had a consistent feel across all the pages, and it was cool.
Back then it was simple. You couldn't tag people in pictures or posts, there was no status updating, you couldn't comment on people’s posts, there was no news feed, it was just your wall, and your friend’s walls.
I remember posting stuff on people’s walls all the time, and people would post on mine, we’d have a conversation back and forth that a small group of our friends could also see. If you weren't friends with both parties, you’d only see one side of the conversation. We weren't worried about what we’d say, because it was just our friends. You could say we were just socializing over a network.
I thought it would be interesting to show you guys what my wall looked like its first month compared to what it looks like now:
What did you notice? I noticed that the messages were personalized to the person and addressed to them specifically, like a text message or a letter. Back then, you couldn't comment on a post, and so the other half of the conversation was taking place on the other person’s wall.
Now let’s take a look at my wall this past month and try and see the difference:
Facebook has become a lot less personable.
At first it was a way to connect you to your friends that you might not see so much, but what’s the point of being connected if you never actually talk with each other. Sure, you might be aware what the other person is up to based on what they’re posting, but you’re not aware that the other person is aware of what you’re up to. You follow me?
Friendships aren’t built or strengthened simply on seeing what’s going on from a telescope view. It takes an active role to reach out to each other, but since you both feel like you’re aware of what the other person is doing, and you occasionally hit like on their stuff, neither of you take the time to actually communicate directly to each other. You just post stuff, and send it out to the world.
That’s how Facebook has given us a false sense of closeness, but has subtly drifted us apart.