My Senior year of college Facebook came out. Still totally obsessed with my school and the tattered hard copy of the original Loyola Freshman Facebook that my roommates and I all received our first day at school, this seemed like the natural progression bringing it to an electronic format that could be accessed from anywhere.
So I like to think of myself as part of the test group for Facebook, a loyal (Loyola) user since 2004. People who made fun of me for belonging to the social networking site back then now have pages and hundreds of “friends” and yet I refrain from reminding them of this; I understand their initial hesitance.
The funny thing is, those who have joined so late in the game don’t see how Facebook has changed. Sure they have accepted it into their general lexicon, but they weren’t around for the evolution. They didn’t witness addition of applications, the pre-newsfeed days, the time before tagging pictures and the change that rocked the Facebook nation: the “new” format (which I still don’t like).
Discussing this with new Facebook users is pointless as I will inevitably sound like a zealot, but if you’re on the Internet so much that you’re reading random blogs then there’s a chance you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
It’s gotten to the point where people are asking one another at bars, “Are you on Facebook?” If I wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and I see a new friend request from someone I met the night before I am likely to have two reactions.
One: Indifference. You seemed banal and I don’t see the harm in accepting, but I’m not terribly excited about it. This might also be mixed with a little bit of disappointment if I met another person I was hoping to get a request from and did not, so your little e-mail alert was a false positive. I add you to my friends and don’t even bother looking at your profile. Ever.
Two: Excitement. Yes, you are the person I was hoping to hear from. I am also hoping you are interested in me beyond the realm of Facebook. This is sad. I am aware.
Every once in awhile there’s another response mixed in there. For example, this Sunday I woke to find a friend request that I was not expecting and, even though I was hoping for another one, I found myself pleasantly surprised. I did the full profile check-out and everything.
To be honest, I think that that’s part of the appeal for me. In today’s dating world it is so hard to meet someone and once you do it’s difficult to get to know them. There’s so much time wasted pretending you’re not interested or waiting for them to show that they’re interested before responding. If you’re able to look at someones Facebook page you can see if you like the same music, movies, or even if you’re of the same religious background if that’s important to you. It’s a sort of background check and while people could manufacture a page to make them seem a certain way that’s pretty manipulative and on the unlikely side. Besides, if someones straight up lying, people can always post on their page and call them on it. Kind of like Facebook justice?
And I’m back in the zealot territory.