When I proposed to my wife I was using the internet daily, particularly for email and research. I was not really aware of social networking, although I believe Friends Reunited was established by then. I would never have considered using the internet to propose to my wife or to tell people about our engagement; these are things best done in person.
I started using Friends Reunited shortly afterwards, although I don't think I ever got in touch with my old school friends. Once the novelty had worn off I was back to checking emails and logging off almost stright away. My first real experience of using social networking came with MySpace, which offered me a chance to do a little advertising for the books I had started to write and get in touch with people I'd never met before, some of whom I still keep in contact with now.
Like most of my friends I abandoned MySpace for Facebook, which seemed to offer little more in the way of communication and photo sharing. I wasn't a fan of the layout, but I knew that if I stayed with MySpace I'd never hear from my online friends again. I have stayed fairly faithful to Facebook, joining Twitter mainly as a way of getting word round about our ever growing website. Both sites, however, remained fairly superficial in that I would use them for throw away comments and a spot of advertising but never as a voice-over for my life.
Two comments recently have got me wondering about the future for the human race. The first was a marriage proposal; this seemed like a joke at first as, although I know the two people involved are in love, I'd never put a proposal online as it seems to cheapen the moment. The second was when two people had broken up and the conversation finished at "I'll know she's serious when she changes her relationship status to 'single'". What about the hours of screaming phonecalls and the very definite response of 'I want you out of my life'?
Perhaps it's a good thing that we can monitor our lives online, maybe it's even cool that everyone else can. However I will continue to live life outside the glow of the monitor as I believe deaths in families, proposals, relationship meltdowns and house fires are private and should remain that way - at least until the dust settles.
Buy Lyvit books.