One day late in April 2007, one of my students uttered four fateful words. “Are you on Facebook?”
I snorted my disdain. “No, because I’m an adult.”
I was pretty internet-savvy: I had had a personal website since 1995; I’d started this blog in 2006; I spent a good bit of my spare time back then on internet discussion boards (the late lamented ParentsPlace and Television Without Pity, and the still-going-strong Ship of Fools).
But Facebook? I’d heard of it, of course — heard that it was going to be the new MySpace and that all the college-aged kids and some of the high schoolers were hanging out there. It just didn’t seem like something I’d be interested in.
Just a couple of days after my snarky comeback to my student, I had coffee with a few other adults — my friends the Strident Women, also still going strong 10 years later — and found that a couple of them were on Facebook. And we agreed that if we all joined, and created a private discussion group, we could use Facebook to carry on the kind of snarky conversations we usually had over once-a-month Sunday coffee.
So I did it. I joined Facebook, and the rest, as they say, is history. So much history that yesterday, Facebook attempted to wish me a happy 10-year “Faceversary.”
No. Just no. I am not going to say that word.
But it’s probably worth a few moments’ reflection to think about the impact of a website that has played such a big part in my life, and the lives of others, over the past 10 years.