The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Susannigans: Changes to Facebook Show Public Obsession

3 min read


Last Thursday, while embarking upon the Facebook portion of my paper-writing-procrastination routine, my computer screen suddenly became bombarded with outraged status updates:

“Jennifer Jupiter hates the new Facebook.”

“Samantha Spade thinks the new Facebook is ugly. Why is my name in blue?”

“Booger Jenkies Wtf Facebook?!”

Facebook changed its layout again, and everyone typed their piece, even yours truly: “Why is Facebook trying to be Twitter now?” read my status.

The question is not why Facebook decided to make changes to its webpage, however; it’s ‘why do we all care so much?’ in the first place.

Every time Facebook gets a facelift, the world stops. Ten thousand “10,000 people against the newest New Facebook” Groups are formed, with whiney statii aplenty. You remember them all: the day that high school Facebook merged with college Facebook, the day that networks become obsolete, the day that the fixed “is” was removed from status updates and of course, the birth of stalker-friendly News feed, a day that will live in infamy.

And yet, somehow, we all manage to eventually accept the new layouts, move on with our lives and patiently await the next digital change to complain-to-no-one about.

As depressed as I am to admit this, one website has changed the way we communicate forever. Once a silly forum for campus gossip and a replacement for Spider Solitaire as an antidote for boredom, Facebook is now not only a serious networking tool, but an essential one. President Obama owes half his candidacy to Facebook campaigning. As the original class of Facebookers have now long graduated, instead of pictures of new emo haircuts and beer pong tournaments, people are posting engagement ring photos, wedding pictures and even sonograms. Employers and grad school scouts recruit based on Facebook profiles. Relationships have started (and ended) on a website.

In the past year especially, Facebook has crossed the generation gap; baby boomers and gen-Xers now tag themselves in grey-haired photos and Notes about 401ks. My friend list now includes former bosses, professors and youth pastors.

While I find myself accepting many of my friends’ parents’ friend requests, the thought of my own parents on Facebook is, to be frank, vomit-inducing. The humiliation of my mom “poking” my ex-boyfriends is more than I can handle. So far, I’ve managed to keep my father from signing up for an account by threatening to marry a Republican.

As the “real world” ominously approaches and my life continues to be digitally documented, I start to wonder whether my initial plan to get rid of my Facebook account come Graduation Day is outdated.

Facebook may have grown out of college, but have I grown out of Facebook?

As much as I’d like to think of myself as a purest who’s immune to peer pressure and the vermin that is technology, I’m not. As long as there are still poke wars and copyright-infringing Scrabble games, I’ll probably have a Facebook page until the day I die.

Just as long as no one posts and tags pictures from my funeral.

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