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Facebook July 28, 2007

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.

You know, Facebook is a really remarkable thing.

And I’m not speaking of its social aspects, or its codebase, or its rabid following or any of those other things that come up when it happens to be in the news. It’s remarkable to me in a very specific way – it’s let me see people I used to know in a very different light.

I was not a happy high-schooler. Then again, I think if you asked any person at random their opinion of High School, they’d echo that statement. My particular difficulty was social – I’d moved from a school of one hundred to a school of thousands, from a religious (very religious) school to an entirely secular one. And even in that small school I didn’t make friends easily. I was the book girl. We all know one of those. Friends were such an effort, they were exhausting. I didn’t know what they wanted of me or what I could expect from them and when what we wanted didn’t exactly match up (“Swings!” “No, running in the field!” “AUGH!”) it was unbelievably frustrating to me.

So of course landing in High School didn’t change anything. I saw the same groups of people from class to class, saw their groups of friends, heard about their weekends, and was both jealous and apathetic. On one hand, I wanted to have this in-joke, friend’s house, pool party life…and on the other was completely unwilling to change or approach anyone on the (in hindsight, phenomenally naive) idea that if they wanted to talk to me, they would have come to me and doing otherwise would have bothered them.

As a result, I don’t (and didn’t) speak to anyone from high school regularly at all. I’ve seen only three since it ended. In my mind, many of them are still those 17 year old recollections – he is aloof and good at math, she is perfect and knows how to dress. Not people, just names and faces.

Then, there is Facebook. And lists of interests, musical tastes, pictures – and suddenly some of these people become people instead of inscrutable faces full of mystery. Classmates I never would have spoken to casually are people I wish I could invite over or talk to on the phone or start a collaborative website with. They’ve lost all their power to intimidate me. And, bizarrely, this shocks me. (And, I’m sure, would shock them if they knew I’d spent weeks at 16 agonizing over whether or not it was appropriate to say ‘hello’ to them between classes. My eventual conclusion was ‘no’, go figure.)

Of course, it’s too late for all of that.

I’m just left here wondering – how stupid was I? I should have realized this long before a social web application.



1. Travis Vocino - July 31, 2007

I hate Facebook.

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