Today is Facebook’s 10-year anniversary. In 10 years, it has revolutionized how the internet does business, introduced social media to the masses, completely redefined how we use the words “social,” “share,” “like,” and “poke.” It’s had an award-winning movie made about it and produced the world’s youngest billionaire in Mark Zuckerberg. We asked our writers how they got hooked on Facebook.
I can remember the days of the internet before Facebook. I had an awful, angsty Xanga page, downloaded smut on BearShare and dabbled in MySpace, but still wanted more from my web experience. I heard about Facebook from my friends during my senior year of high school. My oldest brother had it and he sang its praises constantly, but this was still in the days of when you had to have a “.edu” email address to sign up for The Facebook and when “The Wall” was really just a text box (Fuck, I’m old). I got my school email address in June and signed up for Facebook before even signing up for classes. I was addicted immediately and remain steadfast in my addiction to this day, despite half of my timeline being flooded with engagement and baby pictures. One of my proudest moments in life is surviving the great Farmville epidemic of 2009 that swept the nation and damn near took our sweet, sweet Facebook away from us.
For good reason, my parents feared the internet during my adolescence. They knew of the inappropriate content that plagued the somewhat foreign World Wide Web, and, so, to the best of their ability, they attempted to shield my siblings and me from the degeneracy of “being online.” When my much older sisters went away to college, I was left to fend for myself in this oligarchical household in which mom and dad held the power of the dial up. By the time high school rolled around and social media sites started popping up, my parents immediately recognized a devil (or, you know, a potential cybersex platform) when they saw one and banned me from partaking in any these glorious hosts of teenage angst. I, of course, rebelled against their ridiculous rules and, in turn, became very aware of a certain “delete history” tab on Internet Explorer. While I became a maven of online existence and flirted with exposing my father to lawsuits regarding stolen music, my parents were blissfully unaware of my behavior on the Dell. Perhaps I got lazy, maybe I got risky, or maybe my mom and dad decided to finally wipe the metaphorical wool that had been covering their eyes, but after a solid year of my secret online existence, I was caught. I’ll never forget the exact moment my virtual world came crashing (lol) down — my mother called my on my Razr cellphone and told me that: 1) I had left up my Facebook page 2) she did not like the picture of me in the backseat of Richie’s Mustang, and 3) I was grounded. Yes, I got grounded for two months for being on Facebook — and now I work for the internet. Funny how things work out.
I didn’t get on Facebook right away. When I started college it was still VERY new, and for all I could tell it was just another MySpace, and I thought MySpace was the stupidest thing I had ever seen, because if I wanted to watch a bunch of emo kids act lonely together I could always just go hang out by a mall fountain. Or was that Xanga? Whatever. It wasn’t until I was talking to a cute girl one day and she says, “I’ll Facebook you!” that I realized the social network was a necessity. I think I sprinted to a computer and made an account when that happened. Soon after I noticed spring break pictures going up and, well, I was sold. So, essentially, all my reasons for joining and loving Facebook were initially (and still mostly) based in perversion. At least I’m honest about it. Nowadays, I don’t even like Facebook for keeping up with my actual friends. I like it for watching the train wreck lives of former acquaintances and creeping on attractive girls who I’ve met maybe once or twice, or never (I get a lot of friend requests from college kids thanks to also writing for TFM). Judge all you want, but at least I’m being honest about how I use Facebook. You might not admit it out loud, but you just related to at minimum 30% of what I wrote. So if you happen to be a female under 30, feel free to shoot me a friend request. I’ll definitely accept. Under 22 is even better, because then your posts won’t bum me out. And the people who talk about how Facebook sucks now can stop. You’re wrong. Facebook doesn’t suck now, all your friends suck now. Take it from the
perv guy who has way too many college-aged “friends” still in his newsfeed.
For whatever reason, I was very afraid of the internet growing up. I did whatever I could to avoid putting my name out there in any way that could stick with me for the rest of my life. I’m actually impressed with myself for having the wherewithal to protect my internet identity as a child — too bad grownup me fucked that up, royally. As a ninth grader, I didn’t even use my real name on Myspace. I went by “Herman.” I picked it out of nowhere, and it’s one of the most embarrassing facts about me to date.
As a high school senior, my friends began badgering me to make a Facebook account. I was hesitant. I didn’t want my pictures online (lol, follow me on Instagram), and I just didn’t like the idea of people knowing what I was up to (lol, follow me on Twitter). I was finally convinced to join as “Veronica Marie” when they informed me that my pictures were plastered all over the internet anyway. Again, I was teased for using my middle name, which is ironic, because every 18-27-year-old-girl is “____ Marie” on Facebook now, anyway, but I was hooked when I realized I had an organized place to keep tabs on all my pictures — even more hooked when I realized there was an organized place to keep tabs on my boyfriend.
The rush to escape from the early 2000’s and MySpace was swift and decisive. Facebook was an exclusive place of pokes and profile pictures and as soon as I got my acceptance letter from college, I knew I had ascended to a new plane of the internet. At that point, your little brother and grandma weren’t even allowed to register because you needed that .edu address. In the meantime, I was updating statuses that always had to have my name and “is” in front of them and connecting with as many fellow soon to be college freshman girls in my college’s group as I could, because you know what, that wasn’t weird back then. All the cool kids were doing it.
–Roger Sterling Jr.
I signed up for Facebook because everyone else was doing it. How else was I supposed to know what my high school crush thought of that one really dumb chick with the huge tatas without constantly refreshing their wall-to-wall? How could I confess my love to him without a gentle poke every other day? I loved making people scroll through dozens of stupid quizzes and lame Graffiti posts to write “happy bday hope u have a gr8 day” on my wall. They got to see a more intimate side of me, such as, “What Disney Princess Are You?” and “What Flavor of Ice Cream Do You Resemble?” Now, Facebook has gotten a little too personal and can tell me who’s in my photos when I can’t even recognize the face . Creepy much?
I first started my Facebook voyage my sophomore year of high school. I initially joined for two reasons: peer pressure and candyland.com was getting a little repetitive as a time waster. There was definitely an awkward stage where I didn’t have any digital pictures of me so I left the default image for about six months. I stuck with the social media site through the years mainly because of the summer albums. Again, another awkward stage ensued as family began joining. Coincidentally, I learn the ins-and-outs of privacy settings shortly after. As a post grad I still cling to it for two reasons very different than those which inspired me to initially join: so people know I’m still alive and in case someone I used to take Spanish class with ever gets famous.
Facebook: the second real stepping stone into my high school career (the first was dating the center for the football team and thinking it was comparable to some Real Housewives bullshit, but I digress). According to my TL, it was October 9, 2006. I was a sophomore in high school and all the cool kids were doing it. My boyfriend had snuck over while my mom was at work (sorry, Mom…) and we decided to get one together (not like a joint account because that was just as dumb in 2006 as it is now). The next day we finally figured out how to be Facebook official and a month later we broke up. Ah, memories. Eight years later, he’s married with a kid on the way. I’m still single, childless, and significantly happier than he is. So, here’s to you, Facebook, for reminding me daily that I dodged that bullet. Happy anniversary!
It was 2009 and I was in my freshman year of college. I decided it was more sophisticated to use Facebook instead of MySpace because I had an exclusive new college email address. I actually created the profile in high school, but at that time Facebook was a barren wasteland. No one knew what to do with themselves without weird quizzes and surveys. Come college, I felt like an adult trying to make it in the new world of social media, instead of a child trying to bullshit HTML code. I wanted the freedom of leaving my Top 8 behind, but mostly, my mom hacked my MySpace and read a few too many messages between my high school dropout boyfriend and I, so it was time to move on.
I was late to the Facebook game when I was in high school, back right before my junior year in 2007. I say ‘late’ as in “Is it safe to get a Facebook without looking like a tool?” late, not ‘late’ as in “I’d rather train for the upcoming spring musical than get caught up in your superficial social-constructs,” late. We all know the latter eventually caved, sheepishly sneaking in all those friend requests while the hot girls would see the notification pop-up and be like, “Herbert’s name is Harry? Why has he been letting me call him Herbert the past three years?” Facebook was great in high school. For those of us who didn’t go hard until college, it was a great way to show you still did stuff on the weekend rather than drinking 5 MGDs and passing out. So I guess, yeah, you could say I signed up for Facebook to make myself look good. Not sure if it worked out quite as planned, but whatever. I’m going back to Twitter now.
I signed up for Facebook back when you still had to have a “.edu” email address. After a couple of months spent hearing people say “hold on, I have to go check my Facebook,” I decided I better get something to occupy my time with too. I soon learned the creeping capabilities associated with this addicting platform, and have now, 9 years later, become a master creeper. My Facebook use is at an all-time high since I obtained my first iPhone along with a hefty data plan. These days, most of my “likes” come from my grandma’s friends; they find me mildly obscene, yet highly entertaining. Though I have convinced my mom to hold off the urge to create one, I must, from time to time, perform my “investigative” work to appease her curiosity. I would say Facebook should have stuck with the “.edu” requirement, but good luck kicking out those of us that have graduated to @gmail.com. Also, if that were still the case, I would have no clue what 3/4ths of my high school graduating class is up to.
My sister got Facebook before I did. My sister is three years younger than I am, and since she had it, I had to have it. Honestly, I thought Facebook was kind of stupid. All my friends at school had it, but I didn’t care to see what they were doing online—I saw already saw them every day. I made a Facebook page anyway. #peerpressure
I created my page in Spring 2007, which was just in time to stalk all the people I’d be in college with that fall. I even found my freshman roommate through Facebook instead of opting to live with a random. I was a little hesitant at first, because her prof pic was one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels and I didn’t know what to think. She seemed a lot cooler than the other girl who wanted to live with me though—the second girl was wearing a plastic rhinestone princess crown in her picture. The kind I had when I was five.
Anyway, if it wasn’t for Facebook, I might not have found my freshman roommate, who’s also been my wife on Facebook since we were 18. In an age where we try to find out as much as we can about other people before actually meeting them, staying married to my roomie has always kept things interesting.