Facebook is, like it or not, an integral part of the Web for most people. With a userbase of over 1.3 billion people, and its tentacular reach extending across the Internet like a giant octopus, it’s set to be a part of our lives for some time to come.
It’s difficult to keep track of all your activity on Facebook. Do you, for example, know how many Facebook Pages you have liked in all your years on the social network? Keep that question in mind as you read this week’s MakeUseOf Poll.
Internet OGs… Old Geeks
To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “When Did You First Access The Internet?”
Out of a total of 2,487 votes, 54.6% chose 1994 or Before, 32% chose Between 1995-1999, 8.9% chose Between 2000-2004, 4.1% chose Between 2005-2009, and 0.5% chose Between 2010-2014.
We had an epic response to this poll, with thousands of votes and hundreds of comments. The discussion was truly enlightening, with people who ventured onto the Internet throughout the 1980s and 1990s (and in a couple of cases, the 1970s) reminiscing about their first online experiences.
The earliest option, 1994 or Before, won by a landslide. Which took us a little by surprise. In hindsight, we should have added earlier options to the poll, but we chose 1994 as the starting point as less than 1 percent of people had Internet access at that stage.
Still, we’ve learned something about you guys with these results. Namely, that it appears the majority of the MakeUseOf readership are OGs (Old Geeks) who were active online well before the mainstream learned of its existence. Which is good to know for future reference.
Comment Of The Week
We received a barrage of truly great comments, including those from Suleiman, Bill Fleet, and Amrit K. Comment Of The Week goes to Ellen O, who won with this comment:
I’m old school – I’ve been on what would eventually become “The Internet” for a LONG time. I started out in the 1980s using a dial-up modem and dummy terminal to access my university’s mainframe computer from home – I was writing my masters thesis using a LINE EDITOR! Seriously! Whenever i was working, the phone was tied up and no one could call us – the day-long busy signals drove all our friends NUTS! I think that’s when I first got the habit of working late at night, when the phone wasn’t needed by anyone else.
Then I went to Cambridge University for my PhD and had access to Phoenix, the CU system. We had a great bulletin board called GROGGS – Generalized Reverse Order Gossip Generating System. We used it for everything – even had a never-ending game of Mornington Crescent going on! We also used a lot of jargon – long before texting was popular, we were ROTFL’ing, replying iMHO, and telling people to RTFM! We also had Zinque, which was for really long rants.
We also had email, but when you graduated, you lost your computer access, so every June lots of people would say a truly sad farewell to their email. I was lucky – since I became a university professor in the US, I continued to have computer access, and could even log into GROGGS from my university computer in the US! I also spent too much time on USENET.
Eventually, I got a home computer and tried out AOL at first but fell in love with Netscape – I was quite loyal to Netscape Navigator pretty much until the bitter end!
For a real laugh, though – I remember sitting at the dinner table one evening with my parents and my brother – this would be the early 1980s as my brother and I were both undergrads. My dad wanted to buy a TRS80 (the original Radio Shack Color Computer – anyone remember those?!) and he was trying to persuade us all that it would be really useful. I actually remember saying that I couldn’t think of anything I would need a computer for (I had a really good electronic typewriter that I used to type my papers on and was perfectly happy with that). Can you imagine!!!
Facebook Is A Love/Hate/Like Thing
The results of a recent We Ask You enquiring why anyone still uses Facebook suggest Facebook is a real love/hate thing. And then there is the Like factor, which was Facebook’s master stroke at getting us all interacting with the site and each other with the tiniest amount of effort.
This poll is all about Facebook Likes, as we want to know how many Facebook Pages who have Liked over the years you have been on the social networking site. Finding out the number is very simple…
Sign into Facebook on the Web, and look at the menu to the left of your News Feed. Scroll down until you see Pages Feed, and click on it. On the right-hand side of this page you’ll see On This List with a number beside it. And that’s the number of Facebook Pages you currently Like. Please tell us the number before you embark on any kind of Facebook spring clean.
Please vote in the poll above and then take part in the discussion below. We would love to know more about your views on Facebook Pages; from what types of pages you have Liked to how often you view their updates. Remember, there’s an awesome T-shirt in it for the person responsible for the coveted Comment Of The Week.
Image Credit: Facebook(Let) via Flickr