AS YOU MAY know, today is Facebook’s tenth birthday. Ten years ago today, Mark Zuckerberg and his college roomates founded the network which was designed to facilitate communication between students.
Now, of course, it is used by 1.2 billion people, and for many is a big part of everyday life. In fact, if you’re interested in finding out just how much time you’ve spent on it over the last ten years you can do so here, just be warned, the figure may upset you.
But what if Facebook had never happened? What if Zuck and the lads had spent their days drinking beer and kissing girls instead of developing the network? Here’s how your life would be different if Facebook didn’t exist.
You could actually avoid school friends
These days, unless you’re ruthless with the ‘not now’ button, it’s difficult to avoid people from school.
Your mind will boggle at the people who request you, from people you never spoke to once to people who made your life hell. And still, because you feel it would be rude not to, you accept them, opening your life to constant reminders of people you have no interest in knowing about.
You’d still have to sit through people showing you their photos
One of the beautiful thing about Facebook is that you have a choice as to whether or not you want to flick through someone else’s photographs.
No more sitting while someone else controls the speed and thoroughness of the picture show, these days you can skip them entirely if you want to! Although, let’s be honest, you rarely want to skip them, because we’re nosy creeps and that’s why Facebook is so successful.
You would be a lot less aware of other people’s children
Once upon a time, you knew that your friends had children, but that was about the extent of it.
They’d tell you the occasional cute story, you’d turn up for special occasions and talk about how cute they are, and your end of the bargain was done.
These days, Facebook gives overexcited parents the chance to share every little detail. Fortunately, not all of them do, but those who do it, really, really do it.
You’d meet people for the first time without a back story
Remember when you used to meet someone for the first time and you literally wouldn’t know a thing about them? Maybe you had a mutual friend, and that mutual friend might have given you a short spiel on who they are, but that was it.
These days you generally have a concept of who someone is before you lay eyes on them in real life. You’ve seen their photos, you know where they went to college, you know who you have in common and you’ve probably decided whether or not you like them.
Your friends would be your friends
These days, the term ‘friends’ is used pretty loosely. Most people have hundreds of friends on Facebook, but how many of them are people they actually like and see, and how many of them are people they only stay connected to so that they can hate-read their feed? (Don’t kid yourself, you totally do that.)
Blind dates would be blind dates
These days, a blind date just means you’ve yet to physically meet them. You’ve seen their photos, you’ve checked out their friends, and decided whether the fact that they don’t seem to have a firm grasp on grammar punctuation is important.
Back in ye olden days you’d get to see if there was a spark before investigating any of the other factors.
You would have to actually remember birthdays
A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH.
You would also be free of the internal debate you experience when Facebook reminds you that it’s one of your ‘friends’ birthdays but you haven’t seen or spoken to them in years…
You would probably work more
How long do you spend on Facebook at work? No really, don’t kid yourself.
It’s a lot, isn’t it?
You may still use invitations
Remember inviations? They used to be for more than weddings!
Imagine receiving an actual invitation to a birthday party!
Less FOMO… way less FOMO
There was a lot to be said for the days when you spent a Friday night in, blissfully unaware of what your friends (and frenemies) were up to.
These days, it looks like everyone is having the BEST NIGHT EVER all the time. Despite the fact that they’re probably not, and it’s all probably a front for the personal PR campaign that is Facebook, you can’t help but feel like you’re missing out.
Your exes could actually remain in the past
You could break up with someone and actually break up. If you didn’t want to see them or be reminded of them, it was no problem!
Now, unfortunately, the pull of the Facebook is frequently too much for people. Even if you delete the ex, you’ve still got plenty of reminders via mutual friends. Obsessing is a lot easier these days, and that’s not a good thing.
Hideous photos of you would exist without you knowing about them
No tagging, no begging for a delete. Hard copies of bad photos would exist, and might be shown to everyone you know before you’ve even set eyes on them.