I went to see The Social Network yesterday. For those of you living under a rock, this is the movie about the creation of Facebook. It was good. Damn good. The writing was whip smart and the acting was unbelievable. The fact that it is based on a true story is a very compelling element. Of course, from what I understand large swathes were taken not from actual accounts but from writers interpretations of what likely occurred at known events, but that is to be expected.
After the movie, Jill and I sat at a deli enjoying fantastic pastrami sandwiches and cream soda while we dissected the movie. One thing we kept coming back to was just how significantly Facebook has changed the way we interact.
I was a late comer to Facebook. I joined about two years ago. I had heard of it before, but I resisted. At the time, I had been blogging for about 8 months and felt that was all the online interaction I needed. But my 16th* high school reunion was coming up and it was the easiest way to connect with former classmates leading up to our get together.
At first it was people I was current with and those high school classmates I was trying to get in touch with for the reunion. But it pretty quickly evolved into a self-indulgent trip down memory lane. I looked up people I haven't seen since grade school. I'll confess there are a couple of ex-boyfriends in there. But only the friendly ones.
Sometimes I think that we're supposed to lose touch with people. That maybe there is a reason you don't talk anymore to that girl you ran around with for a couple of months when you were 20. And that snarking at photos of your ex-boyfriend's ugly wife is mean and unnecessary.
But for the most part, I love Facebook. I can't imagine life without it. I love that it allows me to passively follow a large number of friends on an everyday basis. I love that I can interact or not, at my discretion, and no one will criticize me either way. I love that I can disseminate information about myself and my family so easily.
There is little doubt that it has changed things. Like all of the greats, it was an invention I didn't even realize I needed until it was so entrenched in my life that I couldn't imagine operating without it. But that brings up the inevitable question: What is the next step? What will be the next Facebook?
I wish I could invent it.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Are you on Facebook? Love it? Hate it?
*We also had an 11th reunion. Not sure what, if any, plans there are for future reunions but I have full confidence they will NOT fall on the usual years.