Still pissed off that Instagram is no longer iPhone exclusive? Shocked that they’d sell you out to Facebook? You shouldn’t be.
Come with me, back to a much simpler space and time. A time of innocence and bright dreams. The year is 2005 (What, you thought I was going to say 1932?) it’s the fall and school is back in session. As first year sports editor of my college newspaper my focus is solely on covering the upcoming football season, and living off-campus, I’m admittedly out of touch with the social trends. After a couple of weeks, I start hearing this huge buzz about this new website. Everyone is on it and I should be too. Naturally, being the non-conformist rebel that I was at the time, I held out for a couple of weeks. But everywhere I went, in the library and in every class, people were literally glued to this thing called Facebook.
According to Facebook, I gave in on October 19 2005. 1,167 friends, probably 3,000 hours of life wasted later, it’s all history.
In addition to the site being relatively new, it also had the added benefit of being fairly exclusive. You had to have a college e-mail address to set up a profile. I mean you couldn’t just be any bum with an Ethernet cord to get access, you had to be a bum with a college shirt and an Ethernet cord! When I went back home I couldn’t wait to log on in front of everyone who didn’t qualify, knowing that I had access to a world they could never touch. Very snobbish, I know, but being the first kid in the family to go to college just didn’t have all the perks I thought it would.
Needless to say that a few months later my younger brother had a profile on his own a few months before heading off to college. I knew things would never be the same again. By the next September, Facebook was officially open to the masses (Can you say sell out?) Slowly it went from being a cool, hipster-sort of thing to a free-for-all of rachetness where hoodrat cousins and nosey coworkers stalk your timeline and insert their opinion on every move you make.
Then came Twitter. Not as instantly likeable. Most folks decide it’s stupid after about five minutes and don’t get back on for a month. That’s what I did back when I joined in ’09. A couple months later I tried it and felt myself free-falling again. Here was a place I could feel free to vent about the undesirables on Facebook. The ones with the ridiculous aliases that update their Facebook status every five minutes. Silly rabbits!
Alas, thanks to the inevitable commercialization of Twitter and this generation’s need to play electronic follow the leader, slowly but surely, those same folks have now shown up in your mentions. And now, the sacred institution that is Instagram is the latest addition to the list.
Moral of the story, don’t fall in love with tech sites/toys. All of these things were created for one purpose: making money for the creator. It’s just like the club you and your friends used to love to hang out at because only you knew about it. Eventually the word is gonna get out and there’s no way the club owner is going to turn down the cash just to keep you happy. Enjoy them while they’re new and exclusive, but don’t catch feelings too deeply, or you will get hurt by the Internet.