It’s been a funny couple of 36 hours or so — as an American, witnessing the election of Barack Obama has been my own personal front row seat to history (along with 300 million others, of course). As a Californian (well, one who transplanted here 20 years ago), I’ve been saddened to see so many people vote to write discrimination into the state’s constitution in the form of Proposition 8.
Four years ago, when Bush 2.0 trumped John Kerry, there were a few blogs and websites to go to for solace, camaraderie and comments, but the social networking phenomenon was yet to be realized. Flash forward four years and what a different online experience it is! Not only have most of us watched more You Tube videos of John McCain’s senior moments, Black Eyed Peas “Yes We Can” videos and Tina Fey’s spot on Sarah Palin than is probably safe to publicly admit — millions of us have hung out on Facebook, joining groups like “I Have More Foreign Policy Experience Than Sarah Palin” and donating our online status to get out the vote messages.
It made sense to go to Facebook Wednesday morning (and several times since). While I had seen some friends on Tuesday night, celebrated with my partner, exchanged a few emails and calls — there are some things that social networking is better suited for. I have family members who vote “the other way”, I have some long-term friends with fierce independent streaks — but in my social network, the majority of my “connections” think like I do — and if they don’t, they don’t even know that I just ignore them (until now, anyway). In some strange way it was oddly comforting to follow along with people I’ve met once or twice or those I’ve corresponded with for work purposes, but have never met in person as they cheered for Obama and condemned California. It’s funny that most of the people that I’ve known the longest or the best aren’t my “friends” on Facebook (yet). But some are, and if we don’t see eye to eye in the virtual world, we just don’t have to mention it when we connect in the real world.
One thing we can all agree on though is our ways of sharing info, consoling one another and pissing each other off have changed dramatically since 2004. It begs the question, how will we be doing these things four years from now?