Before 10am this morning I had checked Facebook three times. Facebook, which I'd rate as far less important, meaningful, or enjoyable than everything in life except standing in queues and squeezing out the last of the toothpaste, has had more attention from me than any human or piece of work so far today.
Of course, the fact that Facebook has survived, and continuously evolved, for a whole decade says a lot about the web, about social media in general and society's relationship with the online world. But in true Facebook style, I'm going to keep my insights self-centred.
Facebook has kept a more accurate depiction of my life over the last seven years than my memory has. From the bunny-in-headlights on her first night at university, to the bright-blue-tongue-out-and-leg-flailed-in-the-air photos from drunken nights out in second year, slowly fizzling out to the odd miscellaneous photo of Christmas and day trips of post-uni years. Facebook caters to the student with the social life far more than the reluctant adult whose idea of fun is to read a book.
I gave Facebook my golden years, but what has Facebook ever given me? It has facilitated a lazy approach to keeping in contact with people. Who wants a thoughtfully-written postcard when they can just pop open a message? It has normalised nosiness. It has led my being constantly reminded of those I don't keep in contact with anymore but can't quite bring myself to 'unfriend'.
It's given me a lack of attention span. Why solidly read through an article over 500 words when I can check Facebook in-between?
More than anything, Facebook has been a source of disdain, despondency and incredulity. The Bitstrips craze, challenges where people down a pint and film it, updating statuses while going through labour. I've despaired many a time over my generation.
Facebook has given me permission to judge others, what they choose to share online and their willingness to be sucked into the brainless trends the site encourages. And then I feel guilty for being no better a human.
Gone are the days when I was accompanied by a camera to capture all of the fun bits, before showing everyone on Facebook how great my life was. Now, I just watch other people do it and go and complain on its brainier cousin, Twitter.
I think I'd feel lonely without Facebook, yet I feel disconnected from it entirely. Facebook is an entanglement of contradictions. But then it's 10 years old, so surely the worst is yet to come. Teenage Facebook - I'm not sure I'll be able to handle you.Suggest a correction