Facebook celebrates 10-year milestone

What began in a dorm room at Harvard University as a way to keep students and alumni connected is now celebrating its 10th birthday.

Facebook, which now has 1.23 billion monthly active users, was co-founded Feb. 4, 2004.

Ebrahim Randeree, associate dean of the Florida State University College of Communication and Information and expert in mobile technologies, said Facebook has become much more than what it started out as, and this milestone only speaks to how fast technology is changing the world.

“It marks a reflection point on a tool that shaped a generation and shaped the way we communicate,” Randeree said.

Nandi Rosier, a second-year biology student at Tallahassee Community College from Tallahassee, said she doesn’t remember life before Facebook.

“When Facebook first started I was 10,” Rosier said. “It was one of the first social media sites joined. It’s given me the chance to keep in contact with my family that isn’t here, as well as my friends that I don’t see every day.”

While Facebook has reached a major milestone, Randeree said students shouldn’t let the social media site become their biggest downfall.

“Students need to remember your digital legacy,” Randeree said. “Everything you post stays on there forever. Employers are always looking at your social media to see what type of person you are.”

Rochelle Adasi-Jantuah, a fourth-year pre-pharmacy student at Florida A&M from Jersey City, N.J., said she’s been called by employers concerning her Facebook page.

“I was so surprised to get the call,” Adasi-Jantuah said. “I thought my Facebook was relatively clean. The company wanting to hire me thought they saw questionable activity. I assured them it was back in high school, and thankfully they allowed me to explain. But everyone doesn’t give you that opportunity.”

Randeree said it’s also important for students to remember that technology is constantly changing. He said soon it will probably be attached to people.

“In another ten years, Facebook will be primarily mobile,” Randeree said. “Technology changes faster every year, and the jobs of tomorrow haven’t even been created yet.”

Raderee said even with the rapid changes of technology, Facebook still has benefits of allowing students and employees access to one another that wasn’t always available.

“Social media can be an effective tool for consumers and businesses alike,” Raderee said. “It helps us stay connected but also allows companies to reach us in new ways.  It helps us brand ourselves but can also hurt us if we don’t use it correctly.”