Yet the universalization of a Facebook-powered world is also worrisome. For all the good that comes when we take control of our Facebook accounts and use them for proactive outreach and connection, just as much damage occurs when we allow our accounts to control us, pulling us further apart from the people who are very close by.
For me, and most others of my generation, Facebook strengthened my ability to forge countless "weak ties" at the expense of fewer, but stronger, relationships. Posting regular updates coached me to write rapidly for a faceless mass audience and craft my publicly promoted identity as if it were a brand.
Reading the similarly constructed updates of friends fostered seeds of inadequacy, and an oddly isolating desire for constant monitoring that negated the need to ask questions in person. Like other college students, Facebook allowed me to distract myself from the important by remaining fixated on the irrelevant.
This translated into nearly disastrous results when I finally logged off and stepped into the "real" world through my public service assignments in Tanzania, Indonesia, and beyond – and I was not alone. I noticed a characteristic impatience in myself and other volunteers. Though our goals were well intentioned, we moved quickly through multiple projects on unreasonably short timelines.
Disappointment reigned when things rarely went as planned, and I came face to face with my Facebook-enabled obsession with control: controlling what others think of me through the content I choose to post and how others can interact with me through deliberate account and privacy settings.