I have a confession to make. I am addicted to Facebook. There, I said it. It’s true. I join millions of other people around the world who don’t remember life before Facebook. I do however remember my first memory of Facebook. It was back in, I guess 2004 (?) and my college friend was talking about a new site he’d became a member of. But the catch was you had to have a .edu email to sign up. Having just graduated from college I no longer had one and was sad. But not too sad since I really had no idea what this “Facebook” thing was. I didn’t even have MySpace then. It took years before I finally joined that with the name “Finally Given In.” But like all other vices, once you take one step in it’s an easy slippery slope straight into addiction.
It’s funny to look back now at those first months on FB. There are posts from friends like these:
“wow…first myspace and now facebook. what happened to you? you are becoming one of us…one of the sheep.”
“you got facebook! thats exciting!”
“Well look here…you got Facebook.”
“Way to get on Facebook!”
That was all at the end of March 2007. I was living in Big Sky, Montana at the time and the post that follow are hilarious. Everyone wants to know why in the world I am living in Montana! I posted some photos during those first few months but my first actual post of words was the day after my birthday, on April 29, 2007:
“About to head to El Salvador from beautiful Guatemala to chill on the beach for a week and learn to surf!”
And so it began.
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that this is my first FB post. It sums up my entire purpose for being a FB addict. As a traveler I am always on the go. As a flight attendant I am even more on the go. I live 2,670 miles (thanks Google maps) from my immediate family. I have friends that live all over the world and friends that show up all over the world. There have been many times over the last 8 years where I’ve went on FB and discover a coworker is also laying over in London, or Vegas, or Amsterdam. I love it. I have memories with those friends that I wouldn’t have gotten had they not posted their whereabouts on FB. Thanks to FB I can stay connected even when I am traveling from Guatemala to El Salvador.
I also love how you are able to keep up with people that you wouldn’t have before the social media revolution. Maybe someone that was a friend in high school or college, but not your best friend. Someone who before FB you’d have tried to keep in touch with but would just loose touch over the years, making way for new friends. Just a few weeks ago I was able to meet up with a friend like this who was in town. I went to school with this person but I hadn’t seen them in years. It was so much fun! And it never would have happened without FB.
There’s also the news aspect of FB. I read a lot of news articles that friends post. I learn about new ideas and new things from the articles that interest others. I see videos of things I might not have found on “regular” news sites. I learn about work from posts by coworkers. There have been at least 2 times where I was able to share a news article with two friends about airline tickets on sale so that their family members could buy tickets for a visit. That probably wouldn’t have happened with out FB.
FB is also a time capsule. There have been quite a few times where I have been able to look back at some event to discover the date something took place. Once, I was able to help a doctors office find my appointment by looking back at the date I posted about something on FB. That saved me months of waiting for a new appointment. I can go back at look at a photo to remember the name of that great little bar in Liverpool. I can reminisce the memories of everything I’ve posted about. This is the reason the Memories feature is so popular now. People love remembering and reminiscing!
But probably the most important reason that I am a Facebook addict is the overlying theme of everything I’ve just said, connection. I love that I can open up the FB app and see photos of my friends adorable little girl. I can see photos of my nephews playing sports. I can read a recipe my mom posted. I find out people are engaged, pregnant, or have passed away. I can ask for help finding football game tickets, volunteers for projects, or get help promoting my small business. I can ask people for help when I find creepy things like this growing in my plants:
I can look and see that a coworker from Minneapolis is going to be flying to Amsterdam the same time as me. I can keep in touch with all these people that I love from anywhere in the world. I can share my life with those who care to know about it. I can make new connections, with new people that turn into new friendships, new opportunities, and new adventures. This is why I am a Facebook addict. I love people. I love to travel. I love to stay connected. Facebook makes all that possible and I am so thankful for it. I guess that means I am proud to be a Facebook addict. (Yes, I did just change the title of the post to include the word proud.)
Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to go continue my reminiscing of my first few months on Facebook.