Okay, secret confession time.
I don’t have facebook. I never did. (pause) ……. I know.
When it was all the rage, and people were talking about “writing on walls”, and “poking” each other, I was kid who had to use the home phone to call people. I didn’t get a cellphone till my 16th birthday, as a present from another family member, not my parents, and it was a pay-as-you-go-phone, for only emergencies. I didn’t get a “real phone”, as my friends called it, till my second year of university. I had msn briefly until I didn’t, and I missed out on many of the technological milestones my friends celebrated.
Don’t get me wrong – I am one of the most technologically saavy-people you will ever meet – I can work software like magic, am excellent with computers, watches, and every type of new gadget that exists. It was never that I wasn’t able to work facebook or msn … I just didn’t have it.
Thankfully, as some would say, I turned out ok! And although I grumbled through most of my childhood about my parents being “totally unfair”, I can see the benefit of not having it. People always tell me if they had didn’t have up till now and began considering about creating an account, they would opt against it. I hear common complaints including facebook wasting a lot of time, privacy being a big problem, and an overall recognition that it is is not necessarily a networking site that you can benefit from (unlike LinkedIn, perhaps?)
Recently, however, I have been experiencing the opposite effects of facebook than my fellow classmates. While I hear taunting words of account de-activations, I seem to be wishing more and more to have facebook. A recent meeting with a friend I hadn’t seen in three years helped me see that facebook could have been a great way to keep in touch. A brief introduction to a new friend could have been cultivated through facebook contact.
Did I miss out? Did I make a horrible mistake?
I understand why most parents are against their children getting facebook, and maybe, 13 is a bit early to let your child galavant around the social-networking parks that seem entrenched in the Internet. But is there a point that comes where facebook becomes a positive, constructive way to build friendships and relationships? Or is it too much of a good thing?