Monday, January 16, 2012

Life in the Facebook Lane

I am a big fan a facebook. Most days. As are most people these days, I would assume. But sometimes I find myself thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know) and I can't help but marvel a little about how much things have changed in the six years since facebook became available to everyone. I was watching a story on the news the other day . . . or maybe it was the radio . . . whatever. Anyway, it was talking about old people on facebook and how even though they were, like, at a grandparental age they said they couldn't remember what life was like before facebook. And I couldn't help but do a double take and think "wait, what?" Because I lived 22 very pleasant years without facebook, and while I will admit it feels like I've had it forever I can very much remember life without it. It was a lot more dull generally speaking, and there was not a lot of reason to spend much time on the internet, but I remember it clearly. And yet I'm supposed to believe that these people can no longer remember what life was like for the first FIFTY PLUS years they were alive? That brings to mind the old saying that "those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it" and that brings to mind the old(ish) Lacey adage - "dude, we're so screwed."

Anyway. There's no denying that facebook has changed a lot about the way people interact and keep in touch and all that jazz. And I'm not always sure what to think of all these newfangled communication and connection standards. (Also: just using the word newfangled makes me feel like I should go yell at some kids to get off my lawn.) Like that awkward moment when you get a re-friend request from someone you deleted about a year ago . . . because you never see them, never talk to them (on or off facebook), and you barely knew them back when you did. And that totally warrants being BFFs online. I'm talking about a person I knew in my high school days - but so much younger than me that we never went to the same school at the same time. Someone who was in our ward, so I saw them all the time - but I don't know that I ever actually spoke to them. I'd actually forgotten we were facebook friends, and I remember thinking when I deleted them that they'd never notice either. We never even exchanged birthday greetings when we were friends before, so I really can't help but wonder where this second request is coming from.

And what is up with people having joint facebook accounts? I'm sure you've seen them - the accounts for the "individual" named Bob'n'Sally Johnson. I just cannot wrap my head around them. I mean, I'm all over the whole "the twain shall become one flesh" things, but dude, you are still two separate people with two distinct sets of likes and dislikes and two individual personalities and (hopefully) two independent minds full of thoughts that, while harmonious, are also independent. Or am I supposed to assume that there has some sort of melding on some level so as to create a hive mind? Am I supposed to believe that neither of these people knows anyone that the other does not? That the husband takes part in a string of private messages full of girl talk comparing notes on pregnancy and childbirth? Or does he conduct his interactions on the wall while she talks to her friends through the chat? But if that's the case why don't they just have separate accounts in the first place like "normal" people?!?! Maybe I'm overreacting, but people who feel the need to give up their personal autonomy upon marriage frustrate and annoy me. And to all appearances those facebook couples have done just that.

(I feel like I should make some sort of joke about my dad being totally behind the times because he's not on facebook but nothing's coming to me . . . so just insert your own here.)

Someday I shall have group of little rug rats, perhaps related to me, perhaps not, gathered 'round my feet and listening in fascination, and I shall tell them that I remember a time when facebook was only for college students and if you didn't have an email address that ended ".edu" you couldn't even sign up and they shall look at me in awe.

Because, you know, they actually won't remember a life without facebook.

And that's kind of a weird thought.

P. ost S. cript
Mind = boggled.


  1. While I don't love the whole joint email / FB thing, I think there CAN be valid reasons.

    a) one is the social one and the other is NOT so they use it as a social tutorial

    b) trust issues in the marriage. I know of a couple who HAD to do that to gain trust back after an emotional affair.

  2. I never thought of that. Of course, the few interactions I've had with these accounts have fallen solidly into the "hive mind" category. Either that or they did a really good job of making it look like that was the reason . . .

  3. I've known 1 couple that had a joint facebook account just because individually, they both had very common names, and they wanted to make sure people knew they were friending the right people.