When I was a sophomore in college, Facebook was in its first iterations. I remember the day that Facebook added “Mercer University” to its list of supported colleges; everyone was talking about it and I had no idea what Facebook was – but I went and signed up. I can proudly say I was one of the first members of Facebook’s Mercer network.
How far we’ve come since those fledgling days a few short years ago. Facebook has gone from a barely-known college site to a household name with millions of users ranging from highschoolers to senior citizens. For the past couple of years, I’ve listened to my friends complain about their parents being on Facebook (and the same friends are also attentive picture-detaggers). I always found it humorous. I didn’t really thing anything of it when my father joined Facebook, and I am Facebook friends with a few of my friends’ parents.
My dad is great at learning new technology and then putting it to use. He has been playing with Facebook for a year or so and has been working to reconnect his high-school graduating class. At a recent homecoming event, I heard him prosyletizing it to his old classmates. Apparently he’s managed to get over half of the people from his graduating class to sign up.
Things really started to get more interesting the other day, when I suddenly discovered a few strange new “friend requests” – my mom and two of my aunts have now joined the social revolution. They find it an interesting way to keep up with me, my brothers, and my cousins (since we all go off and forget to talk to them for long periods of time). Unfortunately I’ve noticed myself being more careful with the status updates I post…
I think this is the point where I say that Facebook has become very mainstream. Very, very mainstream. But it does open the door to new ways for families to stay connected and in touch with the goings on of each other. Of course I’m not sure I always want my family knowing everything I’m up too… but I’ve always claimed I live a very public life, so let the revealing continue!
Now I just need to devise a way to capitalize on the “family connectedness” side of Facebook. Ideas?