In the past year I have consolidated most of my online activity onto Facebook. This is as surprising to me as it is to any Facebook naysayer reading this. I used to be one of you.
You had a happy relationship with Friendster in 2002, but he began losing it when his friends graduated on to bigger and better things — like college, or MySpace.
Tonight I’ll go back to all my likes, like a sick dating site only I’m taking part in. It’s easy to obsess about strangers. You just pour nothingness outward, as if, through some accident in the universe, that very act could somehow fill you.
I remember telling him that Myspace seemed like an embarrassing joke. “I would never get one. It’s for scene kids and baby prostitutes!” At the time, I was committed to my Livejournal after having taken a brief sojourn to Friendster, and had no intentions of deviating ever again.
Like Myspace and Friendster before it, Facebook might be approaching its social network sell-by date. The redesign is shitty, the photo albums are structured in such a way that makes lurking less fun, and the people who were the original users are growing up and feeling more mature on Twitter.
If anything, what Zuckerberg has done so masterfully is make you believe that you are the master of your virtual universe, controlling your privacy settings, with the ability to add, find or delete friends, hide posts, and poke people that you like. It may not be a meaningful way of connecting, but it offers the opportunity for meaningful connections to happen.