Yesterday I read an article in the New York Times that was simply titled “Facebook Offers New Messaging Tool”. Sounds simple.
Then I read the article and realized again that Facebook is anything but simple. The 26 year old majillionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that after talking to teens who told him they rarely use email and communicate through texting, online chats and Facebook, he started thinking that email was showing its age. The new Facebook Messages is like a huge communications conglomerate, bringing together email, chat and text messages at your new @facebook.com address. It sees all.
I looked at the Facebook site page on the new Messages platform and have to say if I was a teenager I would be all over this. Basically Facebook is going to link up everything you do with all the people in your life on Facebook and pull them together into one all encompassing history with that person. If you and I email, chat or text I can see it all together in Facebook in my “conversation” with that person or group. It is crazy unified, yo.
And a little scary. Facebook already has over 500 million users and grows by hundreds of thousands each day. It is a behemoth. While I know some people are private on Facebook, most people are pretty darn public, including me. I am not half so public as most of the teens who are using it but giving Facebook control of all my messaging, feelings, thoughts…my entire historical ”conversations” with each person…that’s a little freaky.
But freaky or not, I requested an invitation and will try it out as soon as they let me. I will let them even further into my life. I already have kids. I feel a lot older than Mr. Zuckerman, who at 26 feels old compared to the teens he speaks to for market research and that I will one day have.
I am old enough to have kids and be able to envision them being teenagers. I prefer to envision them getting married and giving me grandbabies to cuddle and skipping the teen years but I know they will come. And I will be freaking out.
So, as I see these new technological developments and hear how they will be the only thing our kids know, I think twice before passing them by. If my kids might use it, I want to know how it works. I don’t want to be any further behind my kids than I will naturally be in terms of technological advances in socialization. I feel like as a parent I have to keep as “with-it” as possible with all this stuff.
So I will message with Facebook and jump on other bandwagons that seem likely to appeal to kids but I will still avoid MySpace like the plague and try to keep my kids from touching it too, if it is still around.
Do you try to stay on top of technology? Are you letting your kids experiment with all the new developments in communication? I know there has been a lot of talk about Facebook and young children in the blogosphere lately. So…where do you stand?
Will I be messaging with you?
Sure hope so. I promise I am not scary and will be careful not to say anything snarky ever that will be saved forever in Facebook.