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Facebook: The Scrapbook You Never Knew You Had

September 1, 2010

Today it donned on me. Facebook is one big scrapbook.

When I was a kid, I was so into keeping scrapbooks. Not the crafty sticker-embellished ones of today. But the old albums that just contained blank sheets of paper in which I taped various mementos throughout. Oh, how I treasured my scrapbooks (and still have them today). In those books are photos; newspaper clippings that mentioned my high school; posters that featured my friends’ bands I was obsessed with; honor roll ribbons; the program and photo from my prom; pretty much anything I thought was cool or had meaning at the time.

I also had binders filled with articles and photos of my favorite actors and actresses. I’d cut out articles, celebrity interviews, TV Guide covers I thought were interesting, and glued them into the books. And yes, I admit, I had lots of Michael J. Fox cut-outs.

I have to say that I’m glad I did all this and will encourage Sophie to do the same as she gets older. I love going back now and looking at all those crazy memories. But I digress…

The point is when I was young, my thoughts, memories and images of my life were physical pieces and kept in books. Now Facebook is the modern day scrapbook that contains all those same things I used to cut out and affix on pages.

One of the beauties of Facebook is it allows me to accumulate all my favorite things and bits of information in one place. My photos to share with my friends – they’re on my Facebook page. A listing of my favorite books, movies, music, what-have-you – it’s all on Facebook. Articles that I read and find interesting and want to share with the world – I hit that “like” button or “post to profile,” and there it is. Everything is archived on my profile page and displayed to my community of friends.

And Facebook is a journal or diary of sorts. Have you ever gone back and read through all your status updates? (Try it sometime when you’re bored.) It’s fun to go back and see what you’ve thought and said over a period of time. And if you update your status on a weekly or daily basis, there you have it – a recording of your daily thoughts.

So you see, Facebook is not only a medium for social networking. It is your own personal archive. And in some ways, it’s probably more secure than a physical book. Why, you ask? Because with Facebook, you can set your security settings to keep nosy siblings at bay. They didn’t have that on the diaries and scrapbooks of my youth. The closest was the lock on my diary that was cleverly picked by one of my sisters. It’s a good thing I accepted her friend request.

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