Five Years of Facebook

I encountered this unassuming little anniversary reminder on Facebook today:

 Facebook screenshot: January 11, 2011 - on this day 5 years ago, you became friends on Facebook with 30 people

As you can see by the date, I was not a Facebook early adopter. In fact, for years, I called myself a Facebook Resister, and wore my defiance as a badge of pride. It didn’t bother me that others were on Facebook, it was just Not For Me. Twitter was more my thing, and as far as I was concerned, it would stay that way for as long as possible.

Here’s what I wrote in my then-company newsletter back in 2007:

My dear old friend (and Zoonini client) Victoria Stanton coined a term recently that made me howl – and she’s kindly allowed me to share it with ZooNews readers. Facebook fascism describes an increasing number of people’s irritating assumption that everyone who matters to them is signed onto Facebook and is therefore privy to their invitations, news, and other day-to-day information. As Victoria says, “Maybe that’s an extreme way of putting it, but there have been a few occasions lately where people have just assumed I’m registered and will be able to read some post they’ve made for an art event, birthday party, etc. I got an email from (my friend) and her partner who invited me to join so that I can ‘keep up with their news’. So if I don’t join, then I don’t get to know what’s going on with them?”

I have no problem with people using Facebook as a channel to disseminate information, but please folks, don’t make it the exclusive channel. It can’t be just Victoria and I who are resisting joining the Facebook throngs. We don’t want another online addiction, but we don’t want to be completely shut out of the loop!

And then one day, I relented and changed my mind about joining. (Coincidentally, so did Victoria, around the same time as me.) I realized I needed to experience Facebook for myself if I was to help my clients with social media at the time — and frankly, I was tired of feeling left out.

I remember the exact moment I finally gave in and entered the Zuckerverse. If I recall, my heart was pounding a tad. I hit Submit on the signup form — submitting in the other sense as well — and then it was done. Suddenly, I was on the inside.

Featured image (viewable when sharing on, um, Facebook) (cc) by Sam Michel