But there are a few things that I have gotten in on the ground floor on. Track jackets (you’re welcome, men aged 13-28), the RZR phone, the following Rachel Zoe video (thank you, reader Patricia!)and Facebook.
Remember back in the day when Facebook was only available to college students because it started in college? My school was one of the first colleges (after Harvard, because Lord knows I was not smart enough to get in there) to get Facebook in March of 2004. I can distinctly recall walking out of the dining hall and hearing everyone talking about this new website called “The Facebook”. Because, if you remember, you originally had to go to "thefacebook.com”. And like a true freshman, I talked about it with my friends to make sure they were going to join before joining myself.
And while there were only a few colleges online at this juncture, that still added up to a sizable population of co-eds to stalk. Who is that cute guy in your Intro to Econ class? Find him on Facebook. What about the total bitch who sits next to you in World Civ? Facebook. I was frequently up until 4 AM accompanied by all my new friends on Facebook. And whenever the homepage updated with new colleges added, I’d see if I knew anyone who went there so I could friend them right away. Which would always be followed by some witty “Welcome to Facebook! Say goodbye to your social life!” wall post.
Because it was true. I gave Facebook an inordinate amount of my time in college. Granted, my life in college consisted of about 12 hours of class a week and 156 hours of God-knows-what-but-usually-Facebook. But still, not only could you stalk people you’d never met, you could make groups, see what parties people were going to, etc. It was amazing.
But that was the thing about Facebook way back when. It was like a club that you had to wait to be granted access. Like Studio 54 without the AIDS. And everyone knows word of mouth is the best publicity (see Season 3, Episode 7 of Ugly Betty, namely “The Roof. Be there.”) so if everyone on campus is talking about Facebook, you aren’t going to want to be the only one who has no idea what they are talking about. “What do you mean it’s now just facebook.com? I never even knew about thefacebook.com” See? It just sounds like someone waiting for their lunch money to be taken.
For a while, Facebook was my number one most visited non-adult website. You could enjoy all the stalking you wanted in the privacy of your dorm room. 99.9% of colleges were online, so you were guaranteed to have already found everyone you knew from high school and were able to laugh at the misfortune of some and feel overwhelmingly jealous of others. As long as you had a valid college email address, you were welcome to stalk your little heart out. (Sidebar: I was always personally opposed, however, to the pre-frosh who joined Facebook with their college emails before they ever set foot on campus. Sure, you have a college email, but unless you’ve already skipped a class solely because you were too busy stalking, you can’t have more than 100 friends yet. I’m sorry but you just can’t.)
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, they went and let the riff raff in.
When I heard from the gossip mill that Facebook was expanding to high schools, I was in no way pleased. What right do high schoolers have to be on Facebook? Shouldn’t they be studying specifically so that they could get into college so they could thus use their school email address to join Facebook?! Isn’t that what America is about?! Then came the first Facebook facelift which did not go over well with the general populace, myself included. Then applications started to be added. Then another facelift. More applications. And ads. All of a sudden, anyone can join. Studio 54 just opening its doors to homeless men off the street. Now Studio 54 has become Times Square. All glitz, no glamour, and certainly no exclusivity.
What really put the nail in Fbook’s coffin for me is the sudden influx of my family members online. First and foremost, my Facebook marriage has already caused a problem with one of my cousins, who believed she was left off the guest list to my wedding. Secondly, I don’t know how comfortable I am with my aunts and uncles looking at pictures of me drunk at numerous parties over the years. This could lead to a variety of awkward Thanksgiving conversations, including, but not limited to “How exactly do you play flip cup? You seem to be very good at it.”
After graduating, I thought I’d spend a lot more time on Facebook than I have. Those friends that I want to keep in touch with, I can Gchat with (God willing, barring another unfortunate server overload). Anyone beyond that, I’ve got their phone numbers. For me, the novelty of Facebook has worn off. “Facebook me” is no longer a cute way to make friends. It still happens, but it’s a lot harder to bump into your new Facebook friend in a city full of millions of people than it is on a campus of 1,000. In short, what I’m driving at might seem like a crazy idea to most of you, but I think I might be quitting Facebook. Is this as crazy as it sounds?