Facebook Can Sabotage Maturity

Try shedding old skins with 450 friends watching
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2009 4:40 AM CDT
Will it be possible for youngsters to transform themselves when they've got the past staring back at them on Facebook?   (AP Photo/Facebook)
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(Newser) – William Faulkner would love Facebook, where the past lives on amid its photo- and friend-filled pages. Adult appreciate the nostalgia trip to reconnect with old friends—but what about young people growing up with Facebook? Can they shed their pasts and reinvent themselves while old friends follow their every move? Probably not, warns Peggy Orenstein in the New York Times.

Six of Orenstein’s nieces are leaving for college, but “even as they leave home, they will hang onto that ‘home’ button" on Facebook. Whereas Orenstein plunged herself into the unknown and reinvented herself as a young adult, they’ll have a “Greek chorus of preschool buddies” to weigh them down. Maybe they’ll like that. Or maybe, eager to “drive a stake into the heart of former lives,” they’ll shed Facebook and find something new—like themselves.