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Before Facebook, people had to rely on outdated things such as photo albums or genuine human interaction to keep track of their progression. Now, the kind of interactions you have on Facebook can help tell you exactly where you are in your life. Which is on Facebook, mainly. But here’s what else Facebook can tell you about what stage of development you’re going through…
1. The tentative teens
Facebook is not yet an extremely important part of your life. You use it mainly for communicating with your bestie after school, because when you get home it’s like, totes boring and your mom is like, do your homework and you’re like ‘ok mom’ but then you really go onto Facebook and post on your bestie’s wall and you’re like “:| Hahaha.. Did you see Miss Steenkamp’s face when Jody passed that note to Thulani and she saw and she had like the biggest fit. Cray 😛 I love you more my best. jussss saying. 😀 X” and then your mom pokes her head round the door and she’s like “are you doing your homework?” and you’re like “yes, mom” but you’re really like whatevs (lol).
2. The roaring twenties
Facebook is now an extremely important tool for staying connected with friends both near and far, who post photos so that you can keep track of their progress. Their progress is that they are getting drunk. A lot. There are photos of them drunk at parties, drunk at festivals, drunk at clubs, drunk behind a bar, drunk and on top of a bar, drunk and passed out in a toilet (tagged by so-called friends).
Occasionally, they may post photos of them on drugs rather than drunk for variation. But it’s not all about what they’re up to, it’s also about you. Most of your twenties are a blur, and without people tagging pictures of you at the various places you got drunk at you would have no way of piecing it all back together.
3. The boring thirties
Somewhere, somehow, all the photos of people having fun and getting drunk have, over time, morphed into photos of babies, as well as photos of more babies. Your timeline has become devastatingly, unavoidably cute. For young parents, reasons for posting a new pic of your baby onto Facebook include your baby getting a new hat, your baby sleeping, your baby having wind or your baby doing nothing in particular in an especially cute way.
At least once a week someone gets married, and then instead of looking at photos of babies you get to look at wedding photos for a while. Every now and then someone gets divorced, too, and while they don’t usually post photos of their divorce they do tend to fall apart and then you get to read their really depro status updates (Try and avoid the temptation of pressing ‘like’ on these statuses, as entertaining as that would be). And, in case all of this isn’t fun enough, there’s always that one person who still posts photos of how wasted they are every night at different drinking establishments around the country, except instead of it seeming cool it now seems really, really sad.
4. 40 – 60: The absent years
At this age, social media is no longer a very important part of your life. It is, however, an extremely important part of your children’s life. You log on once a week and send them friendship requests, which they reject. Eventually you may wear them down to the point that they accept you, after which you can spend your time spying on them to make sure they’re staying out of trouble or commenting on their statuses because it pisses them off.
5. The senile sixties
You are heading towards your twilight years and your once busy schedule has relaxed considerably. These are your years to sniff the flowers, enjoy some peace and quiet or go travelling around the world, but you’re tired and/or broke so you choose to spend them on Facebook instead.
Unfortunately though, you don’t have very many friends left, so you use Facebook for keeping track of your family. Lucky them! Those family members who felt too guilty not to accept your friendship request get to enjoy you liking their every status message before anyone else, making naive but inevitably inappropriate comments under their every pic and calling them up for tutorials on how to do complicated things like send private messages or post pictures of your cat.
But it’s not all depressing. If your dream was to retire and move to a farm, and that dream never happened, you can still retire and play Farmville all day, which is definitely the next best thing.