Facebooking through time

This is a really fascinating article about the implications of facebook for young people as they do the work of making themselves into adults.

A few thoughts I have to add:

  1. For the especially mobile population (i.e. military kids, pastor’s kids, IMB kids, pick your frequent-move-employer of choice) it helps retain connection…which can help.  Even for adults who were frequent movers, it’s fascinating to see how this works. But MAN is it going to make class reunions less interesting!
  2. The idea that one must move to a new place to remake oneself is fascinating. Is this uniquely American? Because through most of human history, people didn’t move that much and you had to put together an adult persona with the constant presence of people who knew you as a kid. Were people more forgiving back then about youthful errors? More open to looking for change? Then again, maybe this is an old idea…think of Abraham moving to take on the new identity God called him to. Maybe it’s an ideal that we often haven’t been able to fulfill.
  3. Maybe the moving away to grow up thing isn’t so much about time in history, but affluence. It is affluent kids who can afford to grow up and go to college, move to new places, and become new people. And, this has probably been somewhat true throughout history.
  4. I’m sure when I went off to college and people were starting to use e-mail, there were those who lamented that we wouldn’t be able to form our own new identities so well with the constant contact with people far away. I feel the same way sometimes when I notice how every college kid has a cellphone can b in constant contact with home (imagine, that just 10 years ago, the cell was not a prerequisite for the college-bound!)
  5. What will it be like when facebook becomes some sort of on-line museum?

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