Some say that is a sure sign the social media site has jumped the shark, but let’s be honest, it did that for the kids a long time ago — the day all their parents and grandparents hopped on board.
Ever since we Myspaced up the joint, the kids migrated to the snapper chatter and the ticky-tocky and what have you.
You may ask what led me to this proclamation. Fair question. Approaching my 30thhigh school reunion, I have been marveling at just how connected we are after all these years. Think about what we know of each other’s lives compared to previous generations. In days of yore, contacting everyone would be an arduous task, now, it is simply a matter of adding names to a group.
Obviously, I am well aware of all the arguments against the social behemoth, not the least of which are privacy and politics. And, they are valid, but I have come to terms with that.
As far as privacy is concerned, my personal information has been breached so many times I cannot count. Not only by my bank and the local hoagie joint, but the Federal government itself. That train has left the station.
Admittedly, it is harder to avoid politics, but I have gone a long way to separate my professional and personal Facebook lives. I like my personal feed to be primarily about pictures of food and cats (The verdict is still out on pictures of your kids – they are a little too precocious for my taste). Facebook tends to let me tune it that way. Far preferable to the unavoidable outrage of Twitter.
Granted, I can’t completely avoid polarizing subjects, I am a Philadelphia sports fan, after all. But for the most part, I restrict my posts to personal updates, news oddities and nothing more controversial than the occasional “Florida Man.” You want my professional side? There’s a page for that.
As far I am concerned, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. I have been able to connect or reconnect with childhood, high school and college friends, fellow professionals, even the occasional family member. I’ve found new places to stay, to eat, and sights to see. I have been able to promote my work, and I have found job opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t have known.
Maybe, on occasion, I’ve learned a little more about some of you than I ever really wanted to know. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I long for the old days when we politely avoided topics like politics and religion in mixed company. But surveying the friends and acquaintances I have accumulated and connected with in my lifetime, I find it inspiring to see all your accomplishments.
Published authors. Professional musicians. Politicians. Advocates. Journalists. Proud parents. Successful business owners. If I cut through the noise, avoid pontification and simply see and accept people for who they are, it injects a little hope into my perspective on the human race.
Truly, you people are amazing.
So, while it may not be the popular take du jour, I, for one, bow to our great Facebookian overlords. After all, where else could I share the news of the record-breaking Smurf meet-up, where thousands gathered painted blue and wearing floppy white hats?