My Memories From Before Facebook

Netizens on Patrol My Memories from before Facebook

Facebook’s “Look Back” video was sweet and all, but I have to admit that back when the social media network was growing in popularity, I wasn’t very quick to start an account. I do remember signing up for a MySpace account. At the time, it was definitely a source of fascination and nothing like anything else I had experience before. The trouble with social networks however--both then and now--is that they aren’t much fun unless you can actually friend people and socialize. The one site that I really dug into was Yahoo 360. Google Plus reminds me of this now mostly forgotten social site. One of 360’s best features was the ability to adjust the privacy levels of your profile at the most granular level. I definitely put it through its paces by breaking down my list of friends into the most intricate lists and sublists possible. Before Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, my social network existed on discussion group services like Yahoo! and Google Groups. When my wife and I were still dating, I dedicated a discussion group to her and invited all of my friends. I think that Facebook has mostly been a force of good during the last few years. Once you look past the Farmville craze and some of the other problems that have come out of social media, it is clear that the company has accomplished its goal of connecting people together. For example, I’ve been able to stay in touch with a lot of people in my life who wouldn’t have faded into my distant past if not for Facebook. This includes former teachers, high school friends, college friends, coworkers, and distant relatives. Not only do I feel more connected with these more far-off acquaintances but in many cases I am enmeshed into their lives via the posts they share on their timeline. One of the most remarkable side effect of being on Facebook is that I can sit down next to a cousin I haven’t seen in months and instantly ask them questions about something that has been going on in their life--something that I only know because they mentioned it on their profile. On the flipside, I find that I am getting so used to talking to people who are “in the know” about my life that I feel a little frustrated when someone who isn’t an online friend or maybe doesn’t use Facebook at all forces me to explain everything. View: On the Web | Actions: Suggest Changes | Submit a Response | Send Email

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