Joining Facebook

When did you first join Facebook?  Who or what got you to sign on? What was it like back then?

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Respondent 1

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J: okay, so and then what got you to join on, was it like a friend or…

I: yeah actually I have a Facebook, I had no idea how to make it either, so right before school started, maybe a week or two before school started, they convinced me that it was a good idea to have it, I don’t know if I was against it or anything like that, or if I just was standing up to a social norm, I don’t know I’m not sure. Umb… umb… but they actually made it for me but I quickly started to like it and used it a lot and now I have… fifteen hundred pictures and [laugh]

J: Are those all your pictures personally or just does it include ones you were tagged in? That’s a lot for just one person to put up.

I: Yes, exactly. Yeah no I don’t…

J: So this was how long ago, approximately then?  It was like…

I: August 2007, like August… 10th?

J: Okay so this was earlier this year, this academic year.

I: Yes

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Respondent 2

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J: So bring it, then, fast-forwarding to today, this whole Facebook thing, what gotcha on Facebook? How did that end up in your life?

I: Well, I think I got a profile my freshman year of high school [this was probably misspoken], because it was after the high school thing or whatever, there was tag and all that, a lot of people, in high school and grammar school was on tag, so I wanted to be on Facebook, you had to be invited, then, so by somebody in the network, so I got on Facebook then.  It just became like, something else, it was like I wanna check my Facebook, and I got Facebook my phone, too, so I’d be all in a rush and check all my messages and my wall posts, and I want picture comments and everything coming on my phone, and I was on Facebook for like a week and I was like what am I supposed to do, I’m bored.  I’d be going to work, and I’d have Facebook minimized at work.

J: And this was back during high school?

I: mmhmm, and now.

J: So you joined during the period back when you had to get the invite?

I: mmhmm

J: So was it a certain person that invited you then?

I: Umb, my friend, my friend, she went to my church, she went to the high school I went to.

J: Did she get invited in by somebody she knew in college? Or do you know how she got in?

I: I don’t know how she got on.

J: Do you remember the differences back then?  Do you remember it being different?

I: It was pretty plain.  I used to compare it to MySpace, I guess, cause I know a lot of people on MySpace, and I know MySpace has got the blog and you put the music on it, but Facebook was kinda plain, you look at someone’s wall and their pictures, there weren’t those applications, like making the babies.

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Respondent 3

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Alright, so then within all of this, what got you to sign on to Facebook?  Was there any specific person or event? And was there a Myspace of Xanga before that?

I:I didn’t know anything about MySpace or Xanga or whatever.  I first learned about it from Facebook from my high school friends.  They were first on it after getting into colleges.  And I was like what is that? And they told me about it.  So I thought it was a really good chance to meet people before going to school. And so that’s when I first, like signed up for Facebook, after I got into U of I.

J:Okay, so there wasn’t a specific person who invited you in? It was sort of once you got into college you made a profile?

I:mhm [yes]

J: So when you joined was it before they had open global membership?  Or was it before?  It went in phases. For a while there was university students only, then it was an invite-only like Gmail, and then finally it was opened to anyone who wished to join, when did you join?

I:I think universities

J:Okay, so earlier on. So back when this did happen, what do you remember about Facebook?  What was it like?

I:It was much simpler, like now you have all of those applications, and all that different stuff.  Then there was profiles, some groups, there weren’t that much interaction.  Now there’s like everything, on your page, there’s everything like even like personality tests, horoscopes, and presents or whatever.

J: So there were fewer applications and less interaction?


J: So do you remember anything about the population, do you remember who was on it?

I:then it seemed like college students, now it’s like even middle school students. My sister’s on it, and she doesn’t go here.

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Respondent 4

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J: ok, so moving on then, I guess would be the question of how you got involved in facebook.

I:ha, ok,

J: So, how did that happen.

I:I got a Facebook before my freshman year of college, I remember not wanting to get a high school Facebook because people in college thought it was like really lame just like, it was something you had to, like you had to be in college to get one. High school Facebook was pretty new, I think it was the first or second year when I was a senior in high school so it kinda looked down upon me I guess. you just kinda waited, you had a MySpace in high school, and then


J: So you didn’t have a friend to get you to sign on. And then what time period did you sign on during, was during the period that high schoolers could join but was it during the global period when anybody could join.

I:uh, no it was before the global period.


I:so you either had a highschool Facebook or a college Facebook and I didn’t I really didn’t want to have a high school Facebook so


J: So alright um thinking about the uh time when you first signed on to Facebook, think back to that time and what I know this might have only been a little over a year ago or something, but what differences can you remember about the system then, what was it like back then?

I:um, I remember being a lot more simple definitely because people spent more time on like their default picture was and what their interests were and now it seems like people are just adding more and more applications and things are just getting like confusing or complicated, but before it was pretty much just your picture, like, you information, and like, tell the people what you’re about instead of like having games and I don’t know, you’d have a hundred friends

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Respondent 5

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J: Alright, so moving on from that, how did you get into Facebook?

I:Well I first heard about Facebook when I was a sophomore in high school, because my sister had it. And at that time I had a MySpace, and I always wondered what’s Facebook, and my sister said it’s so much better than MySpace but you can’t have one because it’s just for college people. And then the beginning of my senior year, summer of my senior year, one of my friends was like, “oh yeah if you get an invite from Facebook from someone who goes to your high school you can be on it.” Like you couldn’t just join it, you had to get an invitation from someone.

J:Yeah that was stage two, when they opened up to high school.

I:Yeah so I got the invitation and then I went on it but I didn’t really do anything on it because I was still into MySpace, and then more and more I liked it better and deleted my MySpace.

J:Did you have a specific friend who invited you?

I:Yeah I had a specific friend and she invited me into Facebook.

J:What was it like then as compared to now?

I:Yeah I mean, just back then I feel like people weren’t putting up pictures as much as they do now.  Or Wall posts or whatever, I would get one every week, and now it’s like three a day.

J:Was your use less intensive or you think the entire system was less intensive?

I:I think in general it wasn’t, but it gained popularity and usage really fast.  I remember when I first joined it not a lot of my friends even had it and then I told them “Oh you should get a Facebook, it’s really easy, it’s not like MySpace, there are no creepy people on it,” and then my whole high school had Facebook it, everyone had one.

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Respondent 6

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J: Alright, so what then got you into Facebook?  Was there any MySpace before it?

I:No, I had a Xanga for a little bit, I was way too lazy to update it.  I eventually got Facebook because I realized everyone uses it for college.  So I got it somewhere around the middle of my senior year, so I could prepare for it.

J: So was that back during when high school and college students could join?

I:High school students could join, before everyone could join.

J:Think back to that time, what do you remember about Facebook back then?  What was it like?

I:You know, I haven’t really thought about how it’s different.  You mean like the Facebook itself?

J:Yeah, the system, the type of people on it, what it was like for you…

I:I think most of it was just like joining groups, for me at least.  There weren’t any applications or anything.  Writing on people’s walls, people friending you, it wasn’t really that completely useful, and it didn’t feel, for me as much of a time waster.

J: So it wasn’t anything useful, but wasn’t as much of a time waster, what do you mean by that?

I:Useful as in, when you’re in high school and all of your friends in high school are on Facebook, there’s no purpose in really communicating with them when you see them every day.  Compared to now when you can talk to people who are going to other colleges and stuff.  So from that perspective it’s not useful, but there’s also so much more to do now that it’s more of a time waster.

J: So was there a specific person who got you to sign on? Or did it just happen?

I:I don’t think it was a specific person, just some of my friends.  One of my friends didn’t do it until a lot later—like freshman year of college, and everyone was really surprised.  We were like “well he finally got Facebook.”

J: So he was a bit of an outlier then?


J:Did he have any specific reasons or issues for it?

I:I think just cause everyone else was doing it, and he didn’t want to do it because everyone else was doing it.

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Respondent 7

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J: Okay, so fast forward a bit, to college.  How did Facebook enter into all of this?

I:Oh wow, okay. So junior, senior year of high school I was on MySpace.  It was like the Facebook of High School, it is the Facebook of High School. Umb, I mean the first time I heard about it was when one of my other friends, she was a senior and I was a junior, she was asking me to ask my other friend, cause she knows how to sign up and she was like “can you ask her like how does she do it, because I want to do mine.” And all this and I was like okay, that was the first time I really heard about it.  I did my account, but it was like, I just signed up for it and it was so complicated and they have high schools now… right?

J: Well it’s now global now actually, anyone can sign up.  But for a while though, you’re right, there was a period when high schoolers could join.

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Respondent 8

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J: Alright, so now the Facebook thing.  How did you get into it?  When did it come up?

I:It was right before I got into college, so I could stay in contact with my friends from high school and get to know people in college through like all of the groups and everything.

J:Were you a member of MySpace before?


J:Okay, so you got your University ID and jumped in.  Was that at the time that high schoolers and university students could join or when it was a global anyone can join time?

I:Umb, it was high school and University.

J:Okay, so there was no specific person who tried to push you into it?


J:Alright, so how was Facebook different back then? What do you remember about it?

I:Well when I first joined, those were my reasons.  There weren’t any of the applications or anything, I didn’t get into any of those, it was simply to have contact with my friends.  Whereas now it’s like “I can add this application” I can send bumpers stickers to all of my friends and I can waste time.  [laughs]

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Respondent 10

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J: Okay, so moving on, how did you get into the whole Facebook thing?

I:I didn’t get a Facebook until I knew I was going to Illinois and then—no I didn’t get one until I knew what dorm I was in because I wanted to look up the groups, cause I’m in [dorm name] and we got a pamphlet saying that [dorm name] started a group, if you wanted to check it out.

J: So housing sent you a pamphlet inviting you into the Facebook group?

I:Yeah, they started a [dorm name] orientation group.

J:Did you have a friend who got you into it?

I:I was one of the last ones to get into it, everyone had one and I didn’t want one until college because originally it was a college thing.

J: So you joined when it was open to anyone to join?

I:I don’t know, I think by that time it was everybody.

J:If it was just in this past year it would have been global.

I:It was last August

J: Yeah, then it would have been globally open.