Before I joined Facebook, I was on Ning.
Like Facebook, I could share stories and pictures with the people I invited to my page; it never took off for me. I still have a Ning presence and sign in about as much as I now sign into Facebook. Which is to say, rarely.
I soon realized that many of my family and friends were already on Facebook, so I joined the club.
It was great. I communicated with family all over the country and even connected with cousins and friends in Ireland, England, and Germany.
When I posted an entry from my blog, I had readers in Asia, Europe, Australia, and Canada. In fact, one of my blogs was titled, They Read Me In Ukraine.
I wasn’t concerned with getting hacked or being sent fake news articles back then.
Facebook was still a friendly environment.
Then hatred and racism led me to limit who and what I allowed on my page.
Eventually, I would just give up, and while I still have a technical presence on Facebook, I rarely visit my page anymore.
The few times I go on Facebook, I visit a couple of family groups that we started a few years ago.
But the truth is I miss it.
Instead of being a benign form of global communication Facebook and the internet itself have become dangerous highways supporting hackers and those who would steal our identity and money. It seems every week a new scam appears on our screens.
When I was at universities that were implementing new information systems, I used to say that this would be known as the dark days of information technology. Back in the late 90s, as we struggled to prepare against Y2K, these cumbersome new systems were a challenge to set up and nearly impossible to retrieve valuable data once they were online.
Now we no longer just worry about the complexity of systems but more so about their vulnerability. They represent a portal not only to legitimate users but to scammers and cheaters, and thieves, not to mention terrorists.
I wish I could just go back to when I was gleefully checking Facebook on my phone twenty or so times a day to see if any of my FB friends were out there. It was an instantaneous and cheap form of global communication.
Facebook did, in fact, create the Global Village envisioned by Marshall McLuhan.
Unfortunately, many creeps were inhabiting our village.