On Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at approximately 8:30 p.m., I joined all my family and friends on Facebook. This wasn’t the first time I joined the social network, however. In fact, the very first time I joined Facebook was back in July 2005 along with a couple of my college buddies – Eric and Coby. At that time it was called “The Facebook” and was only available to the college crowd. It wasn’t until a few months after I joined that the social network dropped “The” from its name and changed it to simply “Facebook.”
When I first joined the social network not much was going on as you can imagine. Facebook was still in its infancy and wasn’t well polished. It lacked all the bells and whistles we see today. For example, there wasn’t a news feed, photo or video uploads, chat, vanity URLs, Like or Share buttons, smartphone apps, games, and privacy settings were weak. In a nutshell, we had a Wall. That was our excitement on Facebook.
While Facebook began to slowly introduce some cool features over the next few months such as the news feed and photo uploads, the social network also began to crack open its doors a bit and allow other groups of people to join the site – namely high school students. It didn’t stop there though. In 2006, less than a year after allowing the high school crowd to join, Facebook opened the social network up to anyone who met the age requirement and had a valid email address. I remember distinctly that college students weren’t happy at all when Facebook made this move. They were heated. It was no longer the exclusive playground for the “cool college crowd.”
Shortly before Facebook opened the floodgates to the public, I decided to delete my account and move on. Why? Well, for starters, it was quite boring since the social network didn’t have much to offer at the time. Second, when I joined only a few of my college friends were engaging with the site while others were sitting on the sidelines – not as interested. Furthermore, none of my family or friends from back home were allowed to join the social network. Therefore, for those reasons it wasn’t really worth my time to maintain an account any longer.
I’ve always been an early adapter when it comes to tech and social media. Although I never had an interest in MySpace and dumped Facebook after 14 months, I did join Classmates.com in 1998. Hey, don’t laugh. That was the spot where all the cool kids used to hang out. That was actually the first social network I ever joined, but its business model was terrible so after a few years I dumped that site as well.
Nonetheless, I took a short break from social networks after Facebook, but in 2009 I began to add a couple new networks to my social swing set. Enter Twitter and Foursquare. I joined Twitter on March 12, 2009 and Foursquare on December 24, 2009. On February 6, 2010 I joined LinkedIn. I interact with awesome people on Twitter, check into cool venues (sometimes earn free stuff and receive discounts too) on Foursquare, and network on a professional level on LinkedIn. I use each social network often and don’t have any plans leaving any of them.
Fast forward to today – May 2010. I thought it was a good idea to give Facebook another shot now that I let it marinate for a few years. I’ve been receiving tons of messages from family and friends to join the social network, but I never pulled the trigger. I felt that I already experienced Facebook and it wasn’t that great the first time around. However, I heard about several new improvements on Facebook so I gave it some more thought recently instead of dismissing all the invites like usual. Nowadays, I don’t blindly join social networks. Instead, I ask myself two questions “how does it add value to my life?” and “is this social network worth my time?” If my answers satisfy both questions then I’m good to go – where do I sign up? So, in 2010 I joined Facebook – for the second time. I don’t regret my decision whatsoever and I’m glad I finally pulled the trigger.
If you’re wondering what factors played a part in my decision-making process, head over to the next page where I put together a list of the reasons why I decided to join Facebook again after all these years.