THE BLOG

How I Look at Facebook

02/03/2014 05:04 pm ET | Updated Apr 05, 2014

I recall getting ready to go to college and signing up for a new network called the Facebook about a decade ago.

I recollect when the preceding "the" was dropped, and I started "friending" people by saying "just Facebook me."

Nouns became verbs, and I remember poking for the first time.

Some things haven't changed, but Facebook is more mainstream now, reaching 100 million members in 2008, the same year I graduated from college and could keep up with all my friends with a mobile app, so I can send a message at a moment's notice.

Now, grandparents get their own timeline on Facebook, babies grow up on Facebook and my mom wonders why I post so many pictures of food via Instagram. From this sprawling network, other interactive companies have branched into asking for permission to all my FB lists and information before I can click forward.

In the first world, social media is part of everyday life, and plays a role in work responsibility.

I've managed groups and pages, and helped local police nab a fruit stand thief within hours.

At best, Facebook reconnects us with people we would lose touch with otherwise, shares stories/causes and documents our lives as a yearbook.

More often than not, logging on is a time-consuming, superficial addiction that makes us over-sharers of useless information.

Thousands of tags, subscribers and wall posts later, I still "like" Facebook and try to maintain my sense of personal community there. But I prefer meeting tete-a-tete.

My high school reunion is coming up. As one article points out, why fly to gather if you just saw an update from so-and-so 9:05 p.m. two days ago? Technology amazes me, but nothing replaces what can happen if you're sitting next to someone, versus seeing them through a computer screen.

Nowadays, I sometimes look forward to vacation in an isolated area and being forced to stay off the grid. I get overwhelmed by the countless requests in a world where wireless is almost boundless, stimulation is abundant. An online deal here, a notification there. It's non-stop. It's amazing how Facebook can track the activity as well as archive my very first messages. So far, I'm far from changing the status it will have in my life in the years to come -- seems easy enough to stick around, and harder to quit.