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In your Face - Imagining Facebook in an offline world…

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by Startacus Admin

11 years ago, I left University. A few years later, someone mentioned a site that they had started using called Facebook. I had, up until this point, dabbled with Friends Reunited, a site where unsurprisingly, you tried to reunite with old friends. It was okay, but once you got past the reuniting part, there was little point to the site, apart from to, I suppose, keep saying hello!

My new friend, Facebook, was great, as it meant that not only could I keep in contact with, and be reunited with old friends, you could pretty much ignore the little blighters, after this point. But Facebook allowed you to ‘share’ your future, with your otherwise now dormant startacuspast, which was its real catch; a “look at me now” if you ‘like’ (pardon the pun).

11 years on, the word on the street, is that the Facebook Generation has peaked. Saturation point of pointless talk is at its peak. Whilst the death of Facebook is a rather naive suggestion, this recent talk has started to make me think about how absurd this online activity would appear in a Facebook free offline world. Picture this:

Wearing an A-Board, with an assortment of stuck on, ‘this is me’ photos; I take a walk up to my old school. No easy feat as I now live in a different country, so I first got a flight and a bus to get there. A rather strange feeling, as I had not been up to my old school for at least 15 years.

I went to Student Records (security must have been rather slack) and requested that I get the personal information of friends that I had been acquainted with at school, and some, that if I am being honest, I could not remember, but ah well, what the heck!

My intention was to send them all letters, to invite them to again (or for the first time) be my friend. Why they would say no, I did not consider, even though for the entirety of my school life, I had at best 8-9 close friends.

Once contacted, and friendship had been made, I would ‘poke’ a couple and hopefully a few would ‘poke’ me back. Being honest, in the real world, I am not too sure how this would go down. I am, after all married and have two children - surely ‘poking’ whatever it means, is just not right?

I would then, from this point onwards, stand in situ, on the market High Street, wearing my updated A-Board, waiting for my existing ‘friends’ and hopefully a few prospective ones, to pass on by, and ‘like’ my pictures and updates that I show them. Maybe they could share some of my updates with their friends too?

Back in the ‘real’ online World, my Facebook lifestyle continues. Apart from the influx of adverts that are appearing all over the site, I still like being involved. But it does feel a little absurd if you think about it.

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Published on: 28th August 2012

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