Facebook Blows My Mind

A few weeks ago I start­ed writ­ing a post about how Web 2.0 fails folks like me. I’m glad I did­n’t pub­lish it. Why’d I draft it in the first place? Well, for peo­ple like me who were get­ting out of high school and into col­lege in the mid-nineties, just before the Inter­net went wild, it’s tough to see the val­ue in a lot of social media.

It’s tak­en three gen­er­a­tions of major social net­work­ing sites to even scratch the sur­face with my for­mer class­mates, but Face­book seems to have accom­plished some­thing nei­ther Friend­ster nor MySpace could: I’m in touch with folks I haven’t been in touch with for over a decade. Does it make me feel old? A lit­tle, but I can han­dle that when a social net­work does some­thing more than deliv­er­ing tai­lor-made ads.

In the past few weeks, I’ve recon­nect­ed with swathes of peo­ple from my past. I say “swathes” because once you’ve con­nect­ed with one friend, you’re bound to find five to 10 more. Last week I opened a mem­o­ry worm­hole that put me in touch with peo­ple from my exchange year in Den­mark. It’s been amaz­ing sharies sto­ries and pho­tos and also to catch up with peo­ple. Now I’m mak­ing plans to head back to vis­it with Helen next April. That should be a ton of fun.

So while it would’ve been nice to have kept in touch with every­one via email and IM, I’ve found new per­spec­tive. Maybe we’re the last gen­er­a­tion to grow up “dis­con­nect­ed.” For me, it was a chance to dis­tance myself, lit­er­al­ly and fig­u­ra­tive­ly, from my home­town. It was a time to gain some per­spec­tive. Now it’s time to recon­nect, catch up, and rem­i­nisce, and that’s not so bad.


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