MANILA, Philippines – Today, social media giant Facebook turns a decade old. It can be a little hard to wrap your head around this fact; a lot can happen in 10 whole years.
If you give it some thought, though, Facebook truly has influenced our lives firmly, gradually, and right under our noses – the same way a friend seamlessly evolves from being a new acquaintance to a pal you become inseparable from.
Don’t believe us? Check out these 10 habits and see if they don’t sound familiar:
1) When you approve of something, even offline, you have a strange compulsion to click an invisible ‘Like’ button.
We bet the image is already mapped out in your mind: your little white mouse arrow hovering over a blue “Like,” the single crisp click, the number next to the thumbs up symbol growing one, satisfying notch. It’s a part of you, and when you come across something that pleases you, the image can’t help but come up.
Sometimes, it even comes out in your speech (“Like ko yaaaan!”). And like it or not (pun intended), the word “like” has developed a more complex meaning: on one hand an abstract emotion, on the other hand a concrete, measurable action.
2) You get the news on Facebook.
Not to toot our own horn (ahem, ahem), but there’s a good chance you read most of your news from your (aptly named!) Newsfeed now, instead of buying printed newspapers or waiting to tune in to the evening news on TV.
These days, it is through Facebook that you first learn about something – from earthquakes to political scandals. Plus, Facebook is also where you voice your concerns on these hot topics, sometimes even to the people directly involved!
3) You plan for or get invited to events through Facebook.
Can you imagine organizing a get-together with old friends without Facebook? In fact, can you imagine anyone going to anything without Facebook? The events option has changed the way people meet up. RSVPing has become much easier, as well as finding out if the people you want to see or avoid will be coming, too. Spreading the word about events – or, with the Secret option, keeping certain people out of events – has also become less of a chore.
4) You message people on Facebook instead of texting, emailing, or calling them.
No load? No landline? No problem. Considering that most people can be found online for a significant chunk of the day, Facebook has become a pretty reliable way to get your messages delivered. In some cases, Facebook messages get read faster than emails, likely because emails are something you have to really sift through, while Facebook messages are more immediate. Chances are, you even have friends who can only be contacted through Facebook.
5) You rely on Facebook to communicate with distant family and old friends.
Without Facebook, what are the chances that you’re in constant touch with your cousins from the US, or your best friend from back in grade school? You can even build relationships with people who last saw you when you were a baby!
When before clan reunions would be one-time events, held only every year or even less frequently, they now stretch on over months, thanks to Facebook. Where else would you access whole albums-full of “wacky” family group photos from the 2013 Christmas bash?
6) You aren’t really friends with someone until you’ve added them on Facebook.
These days, when you meet someone new and hit it off with them, adding them on Facebook is a natural next step. Admit it: when you get a friend request from someone you had a good chat with earlier that day, you consider it a legitimate triumph, don’t you?
Some friendships are so intertwined with Facebook, in fact, that it feels imperative to catch your friend’s every status message if you truly care about them. Sometimes, real-world conversations even presuppose that you’ve read certain Facebook messages beforehand!
7) When something important happens to you, sharing it on Facebook is automatic.
From getting married to the love of your life, to finding an amazing pair of pants on sale, the events you deem important usually end up on your Timeline within minutes. You feel compelled, almost like you’re obligated, to jot it down to make it official.
Whether you tend to overshare is another matter, but for the most part, it’s hard not to add entries into your online public diary – with the rudimentary photos, tagged friends, and hashtags. In fact, your friends probably expect you to, and consider it betrayal when you don’t.
8) When applying for a job, it matters what your public Facebook timeline looks like.
If you think prospective employers don’t check your Facebook account, think again. Thanks to the site, getting a feel for a person is much faster and, in certain respects, more accurate.
It has also become a key factor behind getting fired from jobs! Thanks to careless photo uploads and brash status messages, it’s certainly harder to lie about sick leaves and angelic personalities. Who hasn’t done a photo purge at least once, right?
9) When your romantic relationship changes, it needs to be changed on Facebook, too.
Single. In a relationship. It’s complicated. Find an amazing new love or break up with a bad seed, and you’ll find yourself cementing your romantic status with the click of a mouse. It just doesn’t feel official unless it’s confirmed on Facebook, complete with a whole or broken heart.
Don’t lie: you’ve gasped in surprise/joy/utter devastation after seeing at least one romantic status change on your Newsfeed – and checked who commented their congratulations or words of comfort, and who did not.
10) Abstaining from Facebook makes you feel deprived and in the dark.
If vacations from Facebook were easy, you’d be doing it more often, wouldn’t you? But the fact remains that staying away from Facebook these days feels – and, in a lot of cases, probably IS – suicide. Catching up on school, work, or even just your social life seems outright nightmarish after a few days away from Facebook, doesn’t it?
If you feel this way, then there’s no point denying it: Facebook has really wound itself into your daily life, and it’ll be a daunting task trying to untangle it. But would you even want to? – Rappler.com