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High School days are back (How Facebook changed it all)


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At least has been 15 years since high school, but it really feels like yesterday. Friends from various grade levels, college, professional contacts and social networks all connected on Facebook….

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Yes, Facebook….

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It was my birthday yesterday and I was expecting this day to start as a pretty regular weekday. Expected a few people to call me during the day and wish me Happy Birthday and talk to me for a few to see how everything was going.

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There are a few callers that call once a year on days like the birthdays and anniversaries, some people send out emails while some sent out text messages. Which is what I was really expecting. Few friends that I have been in touch over the past year and may be some close family members would call or email to wish.

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I have been on Facebook for a few years now, may be 2 or 3. But never used it, until last August, September 2009. Blogging was my first attempt in social media, Twitter followed it and I call myself a pretty late adaptor of Facebook.

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As I was getting ready to hit the bed late night, started seeing these wall notification and direct messages come to my inbox on Gmail, people wishing me Happy Birthday. Thinking how people knew, I realized there was something on Facebook that reminded people it was my birthday.

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As I woke up in the morning, saw the inbox filled with hundreds of these messages, again some on the wall, some direct messages, some twitter DM’s, people wishing me Happy Birthday. Some folks even timed it at 12 midnight EST.

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I went to high school in Surat, India. A ton of friends still live there and a ton here in the States or Europe. As early AM hit India, people started checking Facebook for updates and saw the birthday reminders, I guess. People I haven’t spoken in years and I haven’t received emails in years, decided to wish me on my birthday.

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School life was great, very very cool, tons of fun, lots of friends and it was just a hip school…and honestly hard to forget those innocent fun days. Then as life progressed got Bachelors and Masters and made tons of friends there.

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By the time the day ended, I had more than 200 emails in my inbox with comments and messages and wall posts. People from all over, friends, family and business contacts wishing me on my birthday.

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One of the friends I am connected to on Facebook is from Kindergarten, which has to be like 30 years ago or a little less.

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It’s changed everything…..

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Click, Click and you create a profile on Facebook. Click Click and you can upload a profile picture, Click Click and you can write some information about you, Click Click and you can import your Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and Skype contacts into Facebook, Click Click and you can upload pictures movies and share them too. Click Click and you set the privacy settings for your profile.

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Based on your existing connections, Facebook will now recommend you more connections, people that you may know because they share same friends of yours or are at a second degree of separation. One contact opens possibilities to connect to 50 other people…

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Click, Click and people can send you messages, either private or public. Click, Click and you can send birthday cards, gifts. Click Click and you can write comments to someone or join a group or become a FAN.

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Click Click and you can create a business page, Click Click and you can track your users based on the activities and areas of interest they have, Click Click and now you can see updates on your Fan’s profile.

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I guess I had my cell phone information published in my profile. It was just not about wall posts and messages, as the day progressed, saw people calling me on my cell phone to wish me. Again some of these people, I may have not spoken in past 5 to 10 to 15 years….very surprising.

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All and all, it was just surprise after surprise. Heard from friends from middle school, high schools, college, professional contacts, twitter and blogging friends, …. And honestly after high school, I don’t remember having such a blast and receiving birthday wishes from so many friends and family, it was an exciting day.

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Oh….add Skype reminders…..and then Twitter updates to the list.

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I guess staying connected is good?

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Some updates both wall and messages came in as early at 5 AM (People waking up early to go to work) and before going to work, people check Facebook updates. This may be before checking their personal and work email. Click Click and you are there.

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And honestly, I am not a Facebook junkie, though I make a point to check Facebook updates once a day to see what’s going on…and make a point to write something stupid that only makes sense to me. Click Click and I am done….

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Now devices like Blackberry, iPhone, iPad all have Facebook apps on it, which allows users to stay connected to Facebook using these devices. Click Click and you are on Facebook either browsing or updating it.

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A while back, we used egroups, which later became yahoogroups. This was a means to stay in touch with school friends, college friends and family (groups). All that became history as Facebook got more popular and got more users. Being moderator of 3 yahoogroups today, I absolutely do not see any activity on these once so busy groups. Rather people have been creating group pages on Facebook and it’s easy. Click Click and you can accomplish the task.

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Its amazing to see when social networks like Facebook come and change what, how, when we interact with friends and family, improve the communication gap. With our busy lives, its still so much important to stay in touch with friends and family. Click Click and all information is here, pictures, updates, new kids born, reunions, party’s, all information…on your finger tips….

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Are you ready for Facebook

Click, Click and become a member of this large growing community of more than 500 million users today.

After high school this is probably the year where I believe I have been so connected to people both professionally and socially.

Yea…and I truly think, it’s because of Facebook….

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  • http://www.absolutelywindows.com John Obeto

    Excellent post, Devang.

    It is because of the revived connections I have (re) made with people I haven't spoken to or seen in over 30 years that I have not deleted my Facebook account, my annoyance at it's privacy erosion not withstanding.

    Happy Birthday.

  • http://www.absolutelywindows.com John Obeto

    Excellent post, Devang.

    It is because of the revived connections I have (re) made with people I haven't spoken to or seen in over 30 years that I have not deleted my Facebook account, my annoyance at it's privacy erosion not withstanding.

    Happy Birthday.

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