I wonder what Facebook will look like in ten years? And how it will affect society? What changes to the moral compass may it effect and what impact might this have on individuals and thus on society as a whole?
I believe that reality shows were the thin edge of the wedge in changing the whole concept of public versus private lives. Where practically nothing is private and everything from the mundane to the intimate, from joyful to tragic, is public for everyone to share.
(While I am trying to be objective in writing about my observations, I have to admit that the concept of putting it all out there for everyone to see makes me uncomfortable. This, in spite of the admiration I have for people who demonstrate the self-confidence of the “F__k it – this is me!” attitude.)
So back to considering how Facebook might impact the future of society. It might become harder to re-invent yourself, as a concrete history of everything you have ever done is provided by “Timeline”. You will never be able to be completely free of anyone, or anything, in your past as long as your profile is online.
Will wall posts replace calls or cards (yes, I still send cards and count receiving them as on of life’s great pleasures because of the effort it entails) for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and holidays? Will it be harder to “pad” resumes because everything can be so easily be verified? Will it be harder to cheat on your significant other? Or will it just be easier to be “busted”?
Generally, as we go through the life process, we grow, mature (to some extent) and change. Personal evolution involves distancing oneself from some of the less successful experimentations of youth, developing an increased tolerance of differences as the stark black and white becomes shades of grey due to exposure and experience, and we gain perspective helped by intuition evolved over time.
Is the ability to put mistakes behind you, to learn from errors of judgement and move on, to make new friends and develop new interests easier if you don’t have a complete and detailed record to look back on? Or if you don’t have old friends who oblige you to maintain interests which no longer do it for you? Or a list of all of your romantic escapades and partners?
Will it change people? How will it change people? Is there a possibility this could retard the maturation process? (I’m just wondering!)
One thing is for certain (and this is the thought that generated this post) Facebook will make the need for services like Acestry.com obsolete, down the road.