It was evolution happening before us (sans David Duchnovy and Orlando Jones) with AOL chat being the Neanderthal man and his simple communication (A/S/L?). As the years progressed, we watched with our own eyes the growing of our caveman, as he evolved into a more complex character with a unique characteristic of being “Instant”. This new species created a whole new way to speak and interact with friends and unknowns. He was the guy at the party who would talk to anyone, because if things went south, there was always someone else to talk to.
It was the year 1999 and a charitable period for social media. Well, charitable for everyone but music executives and main stream musicians. It was people sharing with other people. You knew very little of them but gave them so much in return and it only took you about 23 minutes per song. It was like handing out food to the homeless, only you stole that food from your neighbor’s house while he was on vacation.
It wasn’t until we saw things like Friendster (you can make a case for SixDegrees but there was like only 7 people on it) and LiveJournal where people would connect with others and open up about their actual thoughts, feelings or suicidal rage. Then came along MySpace, which helped Chris Hansen gain publicity thanks to the openness the site allowed and wide range of people using it. How many parents actually knew that while their 13yr old was using this site to “meet new people” the average user age was around 35. The site widely famous in the beginning became the poster child for how to ruin a site with advertising, bad privacy and way too many options (do you really need your mouse cursor to have a glitter trail when it runs over your spring break pictures).
It really wasn’t until the Facebook was created and smartly opened only to college students (not for their superior buying behavior) but to create some unique and only available to select group of individuals (like health care). Then after a few years it opened its doors like Willy Wonka to the public and invited everyone to come in. Now there are over 400 million people taking a tour through the factory, a good amount inebriated on fizzy lifting drink and making some poor choices by posting on their ex’s wall.
Nowadays you barely hear a peep out of the old relics like AOL or MySpace, as if they are some sort of out-dated electronics (think Laser Disc or even Sega CD) as their younger more popular sibling (insert own Baldwin reference here) Facebook roles around in piles of cash as if they just traded their wife away for the night to a millionaire. It was an idea so good it even took a simple part of it and created a spin-off. Twitter you are like the new Scrubs, and a whole new conversation.