I miss the good ol’ days of Facebook. I miss the days before picture sharing and Instagram and corporate pages…The days before people were fired from jobs or Facebook was subpoenaed in divorce settlements. The days before your mom and dad and grandma and Sudanese orphan sponsor child had profiles. The days when Facebook was little more than the brilliant new outlet for college kids to communicate…and be as obnoxious as possible.
I read yesterday that Facebook offered to buy Snapchat for 3 billion dollars. And Snapchat turned it down. Aside from wondering what kind of fortitude it must have taken the 23 year-old owner of Snapchat to turn down three billion, the headline made me nostalgic for the days when Facebook was as idiotic and trifling as – well – Snapchat.
Remember the howling fun of finding out that your buddy left his profile open? Oh, the poor bastard.
You’d instant message a few friends on AIM (remember that?), and in about five minutes the cyber beat-down was on. By the time you maniacs were done, he’d have broken up with his longtime girlfriend with a message that would have (very cleverly) read something like this: “I’ve never loved you, I was just with you in order to carry on the secret gay affair I’ve been having with your father. PS, I’m gay. Very very gay. You should probably start dating a real man like Tony.” (Tony being the writer of said message).
His new “Hobbies” would be: “pole dancing,” “shaving my chest,” and “watching the dog grooming pageants on HGTV.” His favorite TV and Movies? That was a layup: “Sex and the City,” and the always, but maybe not so fictional, “Backdoor Bandits: Vol. 5.” This continued the clever “I’ve suddenly decided to come out of the closet” theme.
His “About Me” tagline (Yeah, remember when people actually used to read profiles?). That would go a little like this: “I like molesting goats in a van down by the river…oh, and I’m wanted in 5 states for sex crimes.” Brilliant. You guys were comic geniuses. Just change his profile picture to some Google image you found of the fattest, hairiest redneck you could find, preferably wearing Daisy Dukes and suspenders – and you were all set.
Oh, but wait – you had to make it stick! So you’d change his password to something he’d totally never guess, like “mikelikesboys.” (These were the primitive days, you didn’t think to use CAPS or stupid numbers or symbols.) And this seemed like a bullet proof vault until he came in about two hours later to find the three of you sitting on the couch, staring straight ahead and giggling.
“What. Wait..Did you guys screw with my Facebook again?”
“What? Facebook? Noooooo.”
He’d walk into his room, surprisingly un-paranoid, calling back over his shoulder: “Wait lemme guess, is my new password…hmmmm… ‘mikelikesboys’?”
“Danggit! How’d he get it?? Dude, I TOLD you not to use the same one we did last time, you idiot!”
He’d continue. “Oh, and Kayleigh told me to tell you – her dad said that was pretty funny about you and him and the affair, but in retaliation he’s not buying you idiots beer at homecoming this year. Hahaha. You losers.”
Facebook – not unlike the days of the old West, when you could walk into a bar and shoot a guy as long as ‘he drew first’ – used to be a lot of fun. Those were the days of changing profiles and getting into screaming matches on the comment thread without having to water it down because you were worried about your mom, boss, or priest seeing it. Facebook was free and wild. And a lot more vulgar. But like anything else, with increased corporate success comes an increased shackling of the freedom. Ah, the good ol’ days.
*As a testament to the ol’ days, take a look back at your ‘Wall to Wall” interactions with your best friend…(if you can still even access that feature).