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Engl 106 - Facebook: 10 Years in Perspective

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Yash Asher

Prof. Steven Dawson

ENGL 106

February 4th, 2018

Facebook: 10 Years in Perspective...

“Can’t believe you haven’t started “poking” yet”, said a friend of mine before I had joined the so-called phenomenon called Facebook. Did I know what “poking” was? 2nd October 2008, was the first time I joined the Facebook community. Games, chats and pokes were the “cool” we did back then as kids. It helped us spend some down time with our friends, while learning to stay in touch outside of schools. While mobile phones were easily available back home, my friends and I hadn’t received them yet. Facebook opened channels for us to use smileys and post about the times in life we had fun. This was the first time we had made ourselves an open-book album to the world.

As Facebook continued to grow, we grew older as well. Games such as FarmVille and Governor of Poker had become a nuisance rather than a daily form of entertainment. However, Facebook brought in newer features such as emoticons, profile views and birthday walls where we could keep a track of our friends without putting in much effort. This not only benefitted many relationships and bonds but also brought the world closer much faster. Personally, a close friend of mine had just moved to Houston. We were used to calling each other and throwing surprise birthday bashes for each other back home in Muscat. However, this move made it difficult for us to celebrate it together. But Facebook had really changed the way we celebrated distance. Firstly, it reminded me about his birthday, which led me to making a video for him, which included all his friends from Muscat. This not only made his day special, but also brought him closer to the moments and people he wished would have been with him. The next best thing Facebook initiated was to break the Skype monopoly of video calling and allowed us to use the convenience of all the necessary communication methods.

“Are notifications as important as calendars” asked my mother, when I started using Facebook on a daily basis. “It has become a part of my daily schedule”, I replied. This was a point in my life where I realized the need of Facebook rather than a want. It had brought the world closer, made my life easier and had become an everyday aspect of it. From chatting with my friends to “liking” and being updated about my idols, it let me do all. However, the amount of time I used to spend on Facebook became an issue during my high school years. It had become a source of procrastination and gossip. From knowing which Fantasy player had the most points this week to which Kardashian had just been spotted in Hawaii, it was all the talk that was usually being spread on Facebook. There was an influx of information we use to discuss between friends which was frankly irrelevant to the lives we lived. There was also a source of peer pressure which was created, which led many to doing stupid things in classes. Right before the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on Facebook and other social media sites, as teenagers hitting puberty, we also faced the “Dirt Drink Challenge”. This challenge was all about being nominated, making a drink mixed with Cola, Ketchup, Eggs and everything else that made it look like dirt and then guzzling it down. While doing this, a friend would take a video of the entire process and then you would upload it on Facebook, while thanking for your nomination and passing the challenge onto others. This was a moment of realization where Facebook had not only determined the way I led my life, but also the way I behaved and enacted in situations.

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