The death of Facebook

My very first Facebook profile picture is terrifying.

Taken when I was in the fifth grade with a double chin and “Here’s Johnny” kind of smile, I definitely won’t be handing out wallet-size prints of it, but it does make me nostalgic for a time before anyone else in my family was on Facebook.

Starting out, Facebook’s main demographic was college students and young people.  Slowly, more teens and preteens like myself started to use it, and it was hip.

Facebook was a place where young people could afford to start some friendly political banter with their friends without worrying about family butting in and reenacting Thanksgiving dinner on a catastrophic, World War III scale.

One could let his or herself be tagged in unflattering, somewhat embarrassing (whilst funny) photos.  One could post deep status updates without having family members analyze them.

Newsfeeds were more interesting.  There were less babies and anti-Obama memes with more candid photos of friends and sharing of links to unique websites or newly discovered music videos.

Eventually, though, Facebook evolved.  It became a contest for people my age to like as many random pages as possible, and gradually, adults began to creep in.  Family members joined the site, and one was obligated to like all of their baby pictures.  Long gone are the days when one could innocently get engaged to a friend for a private joke.  Now, uncles and church leaders call, concerned, and sternly say “it wasn’t funny” when one explains that it was all in fun.

Now, every time a national controversy arises, one must witness a variety of borderline racist anti-Obama photos from the conservative side of the family as well as anti-Republican memes from the liberal side.  It’s enough to make one lose a significant amount of respect for friends and family.

Not to mention, dating isn’t dating anymore.  Before going out with someone, his or her religion, political beliefs, favorite books and movies, and family members are all easily accessible on their profile, leaving little room for small talk.

Facebook has become obsolete, taken over by parents; it is no longer cool.  Websites like Twitter and Instagram have somewhat taken its place.  Most parents haven’t joined Twitter yet, and young people may speak freely on it.  Instagram satisfies people’s need to be creative and document aspects of their lives they wouldn’t normally post on Facebook.

Whichever social media site ends up being the next big hit – one thing is clear: Facebook is dying a slow, painful death.