By Harry Dong
Updated: 10:09 PST, April 4, 2017
Remember when Facebook used to be a fictitious idea of the future? When Myspace was the latest buzz… and people hadn’t even heard of Tinder? Of course you remember such a indelible time in history, and for some of you it haunts your mind like PTSD as you remember all the embarrassing, hideous photos of you that your friends have posted which are now circulating the World Wide Web.
However, you might not recall a very groundbreaking transition in the history of Facebook that most people are unaware of. Remember when it was weird to message a stranger on Facebook? When it was considered creepy or eldritch to strike up a conversation with someone.
Now this seems to not be a problem, almost at all. People are now messaging each other like never before in the creepiest of ways, conducting interviews with arbitrary people online who they’ve met by happenstance. The weirdest and strangest part of all is that these people are eliciting normal responses to this kind of behavior, almost embracing them with open arms like they’re a relative or a close friend or something. Yet people are still afraid to talk to someone on a train or a bus, so they stay in the confines of their headphones wedged into their ears.
When headphones didn’t exist I suppose people read newspapers to avoid talking to people in the past, but I believe there was a time when meeting strangers wasn’t so outlandish. We are now in complete cyber-time experiencing that. We are talking to total strangers shamelessly with no penitence for doing so (because we can put ourselves in danger), and it’s almost eerily similar to the past. Similar to newspaper times, but not quite the same. Not quite the same in a sense that everyone can talk to everyone if they want to, all you have to do is search someone’s name. In the age of newspapers, you would have to look up a person’s name in the yellow pages, pray that they hadn’t changed addresses, or just yell their name while walking down the street.
We live in a creepy time.