If you could hop in a time machine and travel 10 years into the past, your younger self would find the technological advances you could describe coming in the next decade hard to believe.
Of course, why you would waste a trip in a time machine to chat about upcoming gadgets and gizmos, instead of, say, killing Hitler or passing along winning lottery numbers is beyond me.
But 10 years ago, would you ever have imagined things like iPhones, iPads, 3D televisions, or even how social media has shrunk the world and connected us all with updates on what we had for dinner and funny pictures of cats?
Not even Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, was able to predict how his social network would so fundamentally change and enhance our digital existence.
“People often ask if I always knew that Facebook would become what it is today. No way,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post last week to mark the site’s 10th anniversary. “I remember getting pizza with my friends one night in college shortly after opening Facebook. I told them I was excited to help connect our school community, but one day someone needed to connect the whole world.”
Zuckerberg and some friends at Harvard had originally created Facebook as a means to connect the university’s student body back on Feb. 4, 2004, but as we know now, the site grew exponentially and now boasts some 1.2 billion users worldwide.
To commemorate the anniversary, Facebook has created a 62-second video just about you and posted it online. Yes, you… well, and also me, and the guy who makes your coffee at Starbucks, and everyone else who has a Facebook account.
With the help of an automated program, Facebook made these personalized videos (found at Facebook.com/lookback) for millions of its users, noting the year you joined the social network and highlighting a bunch of your most popular posts and photos… all set to a cheesy bit of instrumental music. It kind of reminds me of the retrospective videos they play on a big screen during the Grammys when someone has died… minus the narration from Morgan Freeman. It’s nice, albeit a tad creepy.
According to my video, since setting up a Facebook account in 2007, most of my postings have been either pics of me in a Halloween costume, or syrupy-sweet updates on my wedding anniversary congratulating myself on finding a wife who has the patience to tolerate a geeky husband who occasionally dresses up like Batman.
The videos are available to everyone who uses Facebook in English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Turkish, Indonesian and Brazilian Portuguese.
Of course, it’s equally hard to predict what the next 10 years will bring for Facebook, but recent news stories suggest the site’s days are numbered, saying it is losing users at a steady pace and that teenagers find the site boring, preferring things like SnapChat and Instagram.
But Facebook still boasts more young users than any other social media tool out there, and it is continuously adding new features (like video chat, improved timelines, etc.) and it’s also still the best place to connect with long, lost friends and old flames, as well as your favourite businesses.
So, I have doubts that Facebook is going anywhere soon. However, I guess I’ll just have to wait for my future self to come back and let me know how it all works out… along with those winning lottery numbers.