I'm a frequent Facebook user, making the full shift from MySpace to Facebook after starting graduate school and realizing no one over 25 has a MySpace page. Plus, Facebook makes MySpace appearance-wise look like The Hilton vs. one of those Downtown by the hour hotels. There is just too much junk on it.
At first, my profile was so well hidden by privacy controls that it was almost impossible to find me unless you were in my graduate program. But after awhile I added some undergrad and high school friends and now it feels like a virtual reunion! It has started to make me think about all the things "social networking" sites has done away with:
1. Reunions: No need to go and suffer through a 3 hour meet-up with your old classmates, now you can make them your friend on Facebook and either just read their profiles to get the update or make plans one-on-one to hang out. I am really glad that I will no longer have to feel guilty about NOT planning my high school class 10 year reunion.
2. Blind dates: There is no need to ever go on a "true" blind date. As long as you have a first name and a city or a first and last name you can Google, LinkedIn or Facebook your way to knowing all the necessary information about this mystery date. Especially the important stuff like what kind of music they like and who has been giving them "gifts" lately.
3. Emails: Now this is the aspect I had not anticipated. Prior to Facebook, I used to actually take the time to write detailed emails to my faraway friends now you can just post something on their wall and you're done.
4. Belated Birthday cards/apologies: Everyone's birthday is plainly listed on their page and you even get a reminder a few days in advance.
5. Embarrassing conversation: Thanks to Facebook I can easily look someone's political or religious affiliation, check to see if they're still dating so and so, and make sure not to forget when they were at an event, because all the info is right there! Thankfully this will prevent me from congratulating a McCain supporter on Tuesday's win, stopping me from asking about someone's gf when they are now listed as "single" and never have to ask...You were there at the party, right?
Oh the internet, how I heart thee. Even more than when all you did was get me in trouble for being up late at night in chat rooms on AOL.