On February 4th 2014, Facebook turned 10 years old. Facebook has become such an important part of our lives and the way we communicate and understand social media that it is hard to imagine what life was like without it.
Forbes published an article earlier this week detailing the ‘evolution’ of Facebook from 2004-2014.
Reading through this list shows us not only how Facebook changed, but how we changed because of Facebook. When Facebook first came out I primarily used it as a place to post pictures and communicate with people by ‘posting on their walls’. I remember the days of Facebook before chat even existed and there was no way to communicate with people privately on Facebook.
As Facebook became more popular they expanded. Now, you could directly chat with friends or family on Facebook. This made keeping in touch with people that much easier. Nowadays, Facebook is no longer just about posting pictures and statuses. People use Facebook to create and advertise events, to ‘check in’ and show their friends what they’re doing and where they’re doing it, to keep informed about what everyone they have ever met is doing right now, and to chat with friends and keep in touch with people from all over the world. While Facebook has evolved, it has changed the way we use social media.
When Facebook created pages for companies that could be ‘liked’, they changed the way we view the interaction between our actual lives and our digital lives. Nowadays, every company has a Facebook page. Plenty of stores, brands, and items feature the tiny Facebook logo in their bottom corner encouraging people to visit their site and ‘like’ their page. I have been to stores where coupons were only offered if you proved that you had visited the store’s Facebook page and ‘liked’ it. This interaction is blurring the lines between our online ‘digital profile’ and our real lives.
The 10-year anniversary of Facebook serves as a reminder to us about how our lives have changed with the evolution of social media.