I recently had a weird experience. My Mom said “LOL” on a Facebook post. My first thought was that mothers shouldn’t be doing that. Then I thought about it, realizing that I am a parent now and it would be just as weird, maybe weirder, if my father had done that. But what will my son think about things like this?
I’ve been on Facebook since 2005. There are seven years of postings that exist from before my son even existed. Now, I’m not a heavy poster and I don’t have anything up there that I would be embarrassed about (I don’t think…). But what about its very existence?
I have no idea what my parents were doing when they were 24. Aside from being parents as my older sister was born then. Which means they must have been exactly as I remember them. They couldn’t have been anything else. That’s impossible.
How will it be for kids of my son’s generation, with their parents heavily involved in social networking? The ability to go back and see what kind of things they did, posted about and shared with the world? From before they were born? That’s both scary and awesome.
Now, Facebook probably won’t be around when he’s older or at least it won’t be something his generation uses. But regardless if Facebook is or isn’t around, social networking isn’t going anywhere. People often talk about the pros and cons of sharing things on the internet as they relate to jobs and what impact it has actual in person relationships. But what about as a social history source?
History is the study of the written word from the past. In most cases you’re making due with very little available material. Now that the internet is a thing and so much is written down by a comparatively large percentage of the human population? But more importantly, in twenty years, what will my son think about me asking that inane question?