Facebook jumps the shark

At first Facebook was truly an amazing experience in connecting with the people from my past as well as keeping up with those who I would still consider friends today.  Being a busy guy with two kids and a corporate job it is tough to do the socializing I once did.  Of course, checking the latest status posts and family pictures via FaceBook a few times a week (okay, few times a day) is no replacement for real human contact but it is better than nothing.

So it is with great sadness that today is the day I proclaim that Facebook has jumped the shark. If your not familiar with the term “jump the shark” look no further than UrbanDictionary.com which defines it as “a term to describe a moment when something that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity.” Of course, the term originates from the classic TV show Happy Days which despite it legions of fans hung around a little longer than it’s shelf life and eventually became a bit of a joke (see video below).

Anyway, back to the point.  As if it were not bad enough that that my FB experience has become a mix of

  • certain folks who give the details of every moment of their lives (do you really need to announce that your going the bed????)
  • others who feel that they need to post witty/insightful/wise/funny updates which probably took a good portion of their day to refine prior to posting
  • scanned pictures from 15+ years ago to allow others to share in high school nostalgia

But today was the day I casually checked my email account to find a FB friend request from a friend of my mother!  My mom! Her friend is 78 years old!

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not prejudice to the elderly.  This particular woman is a close family friend and extremely cool regardless of her age.  But I can’t help feeling like a line has been crossed.  Social media and for that matter the internet are a part of my generation and more specifically my own existence.  I make my living as a technical director for an online retailer.  I spent my early 20’s riding the dot com wave.  How is it that someone born before World War II is sending me friend requests????

I guess I need to remember that this website began as a way for Harvard coeds to get to know each other and has expanded into every corner of society.  I know how pissed the college crowd was when FB lost it’s cred and went “mainstream” by opening up to others.  I guess I am going through a similar experience.  Am I going to stop visiting the site on a regular basis?  Of course not.  But as one of the earlier adopters of social media it is starting to feel like Facebook and others in it’s genre are getting a little less “special”.

Oh well, you can’t fight progress.