Facebook turned ten years old this Tuesday, February 4th. But this is probably not news to anyone, right? Everyone saw the “Facebook Stories” series posted to our new feeds this week, promoting how Facebook has effected its users lives. From fascinating stories about the popular page HONY (Humans Of New York) to the tragic story of a fallen Marine, whose family has been able too look back on his life via the social network. Facebook has played an integral role in this generation’s upbringing. Facebook, without a doubt, has changed the way we, as a generation, are socializing, interacting, and using the web. The focus of these stories are to show how Facebook has changed its user’s lives, which makes me wonder, how has the presence of Facebook transformed our lives?
For many, if not all of us, Facebook has been a huge part of our social interaction and Internet use since freshmen year of high school, at the very least. Which, for me, means that I have been an active user on the network for nearly seven years.
Facebook, for anyone who hasn’t seen The Social Network, was invented as a social network for Harvard students, however, within weeks the network spread to college students across the globe, and so on and so forth until it was opened to users over the age of thirteen in 2006 and we see the billion user model of the current Facebook. However, an interesting Time article out this week discusses what might have happened had Facebook not been invented.
The article talks about how if Facebook had not come around, something else surely would have. However, most interestingly, the article discusses how other social networks might have been affected had Mark Zuckerberg not invented Facebook.
Facebook as undoubtedly had a major impact on the social interactions and new media for our generation. Facebook had allowed us to share an unbelievable amount of our lives with our Facebook friends. Whether or not you regard this kind of sharing of information as a positive or negative is not really the point. The point is the new media revolution that resulted in the invention of Facebook.
As pointed out in the aforementioned article, Facebook has not only had an impact on our personal lives, but has also substantially affected other networking sites, and the way we use the internet as new media consumers.
While it is safe to say that another social networking website would have hit the web had Facebook never been invented, you can’t be so sure that whatever might have taken its place would have been as transformative. Perhaps, if Facebook didn’t exist, our generation would not be as reliant on the Internet, at least for socializing. Perhaps its users would be less web-minded, and the revelations in technology and new media, to include marketing strategy and journalism tactics, would be vastly different.
What Facebook has been able to accomplish in its ten-year life span, goes far beyond its social networking capability. Facebook has changed the Internet and expanded new media capabilities beyond measure. Whether you’ve logged in or not, Facebook has definitely transformed your life.
McCracken, H. (2014, February 04). Facebook turns 10:what if it had never been invented. Retrieved from http://techland.time.com/2014/02/04/facebook-anniversary/
Photo By: Sean MacEntee, Flickr Creative Commons