As time goes on, I find myself using Facebook less and less. But there was a time — 10 years ago, to be exact — where I was using Facebook to do all of my socialising. You were too!
History books will one day show that I was part of the last class of high school seniors that had to wait patiently for a .edu email address in order to use Facebook. And when I got my .edu address in the summer of 2005, I spent hours checking out my future UMass Amherst classmates and writing on my friends’ “walls” (they were not timelines yet) about how much I’d miss them when we parted ways for higher learning.
Notable moments include me and my friend making fun of our then-boss, by name, as if Facebook was a private place. Remember, this was years before “is Facebook a private place?” conversations would dominate the media.
There is also this:
Did you know there is a simple way to go back in time and humble yourself by looking at the terrible ramblings of the 10-years-younger version of you?
My colleagues and I have spent a good amount of time doing just that in the last week.
This feature of Facebook is no surprise, but if you spend a few minutes digging through your own internet past, it’s clear: No one is proud the way they used Facebook a decade ago.
Here’s what you do:
Click on your own name (top left hand corner.) On the right, years will appear.
Click further, into the 2000’s.
It will bring you to 2009, where things take a turn for the worse.
But click all the way back to the first year you were on Facebook, and watch your timeline turn into a smattering of words and messages you probably wish were not permanently archived on the world wide web.
Facebook started out looking like this:
That was in 2004-ish. The Daily Dot actually created a comprehensive guide to Facebook’s many aesthetic restructurings, which you can find here.
Most of the biggest changes happened between 2006-2008, and most all of them sparked outrage with users who never saw it coming.
Luckily, you could still create Facebook groups (remember the one about going out of your way to step on a crunchy leaf?) so people could find comfort within the Facebook community.
Over time, little things changed. Status updates were no longer formatted for third person updates. The “Caroline Moss is not studying!” update from 2008-ish looks very weird against the empty box where users can post texts and upload photos in 2015.
But it’s all there, just a click away, if you ever need to remember just where you came from.