He created your own little world. A virtual Online Life, per-say.
Not to say that others did not come before him. Alt Newsgroups. Friendster. Tribe. MySpace.
He just did it with a little more "oomph" with a system where you are in full control of what your friends can see.
Facebook, like it or not for millions of people is another life for them. Or their actual life playing out to however many friends they decide to include on the virtual life internet ride.
Don't be fooled people trying to disassociate your real life to your Facebook Page. The moment you post a picture of yourself and tag it on your own? The moment you announce a relationship? The moment you post a political article you feel strongly about or decide to tell everyone where you are GPS wise? You are sharing information the same way you would show anyone a photo album of your family in the 80's, a class note passed around saying you are in love with Johnny or calling up your friends on your rotary phone announcing you are going to be at the corner bar in ten minutes to grouse about Ronald Reagan winning over Jimmy Carter.
You posting your kids birthday party video on Facebook from your iPhone is almost the exact same move of pulling out a standalone screen and getting out the 8mm film of your kids birthday party for people to watch. The only difference with Facebook and that: You can quietly say you watched it in the privacy of your own home and never did and say the words we all say when these films are shown to us by friends if we believe it or not in the comment section:
"Aw, That's Sweet" You don't even need to do that anymore. Just hit the like button and keep moving down the News Feed.
Even on Facebook you can sort out your friends on the status' you wish to keep up with on things like Tweetdeck. A Column for "Close Friends" A column for everyone else. That is the 80's equivalent of a Rolodex. Blue tabs for close friends. Yellow tab for business associates. Then everyone else where you have no idea who they are or how you got that number.
Mark made us the online life. The one where you don't have to explain to anyone your actions online to your friends if you don't wish to. It's creepily close to Life Drama without the pesky face interaction and the buying of lunches and drinks.
Relationships play out on Facebook. The close friends who you thought were close who barely ever post on your wall (you don't have to. You see them face to face because you actually are close) compared to the people who you barely know (or don't know at all) where you "Friend" them because well...hell...you have nine of your close friends in common. You start to realize that what Mark Zuckerberg has created is a little more "Real Life Interaction" than any of us thought.
I will use the 80's Dinner Party Scenario:
You send out 26 invitations to your dinner party. (13 people with a date/love one) Everyone RSVP's.
You get a call a week later from a person you said hello to *once* at a party from a mutual friend wondering why they were not invited as they heard from that friend that they were invited. Your number was passed on by that friend.
Feeling bad, you invite them. They immediately ask if they can bring a date. You say yes. That is now 28 people and now you have to get two more chairs. You call up that friend and ask to be reminded who that person is. They tell you and say "You two should get along you both have (blank) in common".
As the party gets closer, you start getting annoying phone calls from this person. The only conversation you have had beforehand was the words "Nice to meet you". Now they are your best friends talking your ear off on the phone. They have officially called you more than your mother in the last week. They leave messages on your machine while you are at work and run out the tape on your machine. You get home and right before you can start dinner, they are calling you wanting to talk about...well...nothing.
Lord forbid if you try to be nice and start a topic of conversation with them. They will never stop. Ever.
You will find out something too with your new found best friend: You have nothing in common. Not a thing. The one thing you thought you might have in common (like say your collection of stamps), you find out they only like them because of the glue on the back of the stamp and not the actual picture on the stamp. Nope. Just into the glue and the possibility of selling them. For the glue.
In their heart they know they have nothing in common with you. But this person gushes over you like a new toy. They "Like" everything about you...and they really don't know why. You are like a brand new shiny toy to "like" a little too much.
It's only when (three days before the party) you get that unwanted phone call from your new best friend where they now wish to talk about "Politics". You make the dumb mistake of mentioning your views in the hopes the conversation will go smoothly and of course fast. Your significant other wishes to watch the Cosby Show with you and is wondering why you are still on the phone with someone you don't know.
That is when you realize your politics are not at all alike.
You are now in your own hell. You start to see a not so pleasant side to your completely unknown new best friend of another friend.
They get angry and their argument to your views and their words becomes disjointed. Roundabout. Incoherent. All mixed with a nice dose childlike Political Discourse: "If all else fails, say they are insane, drunk or high." You put the phone on speaker and let your loved one listen to this. This conversation has now become better than anything a Huxtable could do.
Someone on your phone that you don't know, who has been liking everything you have been doing in public, gushing about the pictures they saw of you from your other friend's photo album from that trip to Paris....is now calling you nuts, insane and has no fucking clue what you are talking about.
"Okay...Well...I got to go?" You say goodbye and hang up the phone.
Then they call back. Over and over again you let it go to your voice message machine. They apologize. Then call back and apologize but blame something else. They call back and apologize and blame you. The last message is an incoherent "Fuck you, nobody likes you anyway"
Does that mean they are not coming to the party? You think. You significant chuckles and says "Can we watch Cosby now" (as Tivo was not invented yet).
Well thank god...but just in case. You wait until that person is off to work to leave a message on their machine saying very simply: It is probably best that I rescind my invitation to my party this weekend as we have nothing in common and it would be uncomfortable for me and all of my other guests. Wish you the best of luck.
You take the two chairs back to the friend you loaned them from... then proceed to never have to deal or see this person again without bothering your other friends: You get one of those new tech cool phones you saw at the store (while shopping for Mojito fixings for your party) where you can see the name of the caller so you never have to pick up the phone in the likelihood this person calls again.
You pray to god they don't call back or try to get a hold of you in another way. Like a letter. Or showing up to your home. You doubt it though. You are no longer a shiny new toy. This person snapped your toy head off and the remaining of your toy body is in the corner with other discarded broken toys.
The day of the party they do not show up. But you have gotten an earful from the friend who introduced you to him. "Did you really scream at them on the phone? Did you really say that they were drunk and high? Did you really compare stamps to The Flight of The Valkyries?"
You now wish you had a Nixon Recording machine. You just say "Of course I didn't" only to hear your friend say "Yea. That is what we all figured. Cat/Chick is a little needy. Can't get him/her to stop calling me at three in the morning. Crying/Ranting"
You hear it come out of your mouth while holding your Homemade Mojito. Why in the world would you introduce me to them? Why?
The inevitable answer is always: Because you both like (blank). You want to scream. HITLER LIKED ART. SO DO I. THINK WE WOULD HAVE BEEN FRIENDS?? WOULD YOU HAVE INTRODUCED ME TO HITLER TOO??
But that would make the dinner party just a little more awkward than what it has already been up to this point. You also start to question *this friendship*. It would not stop the party as this is 1986 and Goodwin's Law was not created until four years later.
You can apply this Awkward Dinner Party to any person you friend on Facebook you don't know and they attack your Facebook wall liking everything you are doing and commenting on everything that occurs (pictures/status posts links to articles) as though you have known them forever.
That is until after enough continual posting about you choices and your life you don't like the person doing it. You don't know them well enough to care about their opinions. You realize you don't need that extra online annoyance of the friend of a friend on Facebook where the only contact you have ever had with them was your fingers to your touch pad moving over to the words "Confirm"
Like in real life, people forget that that this is someone else's life that they have been let in on. It's thier life. It's thier Facebook Page.
They have the right to no longer ever have to deal with them. It's Real life DeFriending. Online. You only hope they don't try to get a hold of you in another way. Like, an email. Or a phone call.
Mark Zuckerberg created the ultimate online awkward dinner party. Every part of it. Right down to the block function/wall post and comment limits/blocking friends sending you insurmountable invites you will never attend...of those barely known people who bombard you with a little too much attention. More than your own family.
You can even send your closest friend a virtual Mojito and send them a facebook email asking "would you introduce me to Bin Laden because we both like improv" Because Bin Laden law has not been created yet.
Well Done Man of the Year. Well Done. Thank you for the Online Awkward Dinner Party.
Causes Shaun Landry Supports
The Alzheimer's Foundation, NAACP, Breast Cancer Foundation, Gilda's Club.