Facebook’s 10th Anniversary: 10 Ways It’s Made Our Lives Better AND Worse

Happy birthday, Facebook! Can you guys believe it's been 10 years since we were introduced to the website that has managed to suck so much of our free (and not-so-free) time and is surely the number 1 reason why we haven't been promoted at our jobs more often? Oh, I kid. Facebook isn't to blame for our procrastinating ways any more than the mere existence of chocolate is to blame for those extra five pounds we can't lose. And you've got to admit the site lasted way longer than most of assumed it would. Over the past decade, it has evolved from a cool and hip website used mostly by college kids to a social networking service that even your grandma checks on a daily basis. Let's celebrate the site that -- for better or worse -- made Mark Zuckerberg a household name by reflecting on 5 ways Facebook has made our lives better and 5 ways it has completely destroyed humanity as we know it. 

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The Good:

1. It's really nice to see photos of high school friends' kids online. They're adorable and it's a sweet reminder that people we hung out with day in and out at one point in our lives turned out just fine.
 
2. Facebook offers a never-ending source of advice and recommendations on everything from good hairstylists in a certain neighborhood to the cost of closing and opening a pool. And the best part: you can choose to take or ignore advice and no one will ever be the wiser.
 
3. Birthday wishes from strangers and actual friends = lots more birthday wishes than you'd ever ordinarily receive. And all birthday wishes are good.
 
4. When friends post status updates -- even braggy ones -- that prove they're doing amazing things, it serves as motivation to get up off our butts and do more (and if you disagree, you can always unfriend them).
 
5. Trending news feature is a lot less dizzying to look at each morning than Google News.
 
The Ugly:

1. Why aren't I able to approve all wall posts and photos prior to when they go up? Does anyone realize how many fights this could prevent between couples? 
 
2. Endless game requests.
 
3. I'm sure I was a more productive worker prior to Facebook. Then again, MySpace existed before Facebook -- so scratch that. 
 
4. Rules about privacy settings are so complicated they can make your head spin. It seems like there's always a 50/50 chance one of your photos will end up on a billboard in Madagascar.
 
5. My mother reads all my posts because she's on Facebook. Ugh. Wait, I'm now a mother and I'm on Facebook. Double UGH. Facebook makes me feel old.

What do you love and hate about Facebook? 


Image via Erik Tham/Corbis
 
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