Facebook Turns 10

Posted at 12:03 PM, Feb 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-04 12:08:00-05

new facebook layout(CNN)  (Feb 4, 2014) — “I’m gonna tag you in this hideous photo and then unfriend you if you don’t stop oversharing and poking me.”

If you said this to someone 10 years ago, they’d look at you like you were speaking Klingon. Nowadays, you just sound like an active user of social media.

This is how much Facebook has changed how we talk. In the decade since its birth in February 2004, the social network has introduced numerous terms and phrases to the language of modern life.

Most are common words that Facebook refitted with new meanings. Some have stuck, while others have been forgotten. A few have even been recognized by dictionaries as official pieces of the 21st century lexicon.

Here are nine of the most memorable.


Until Facebook came along, nobody used the word “friend” as a verb. Now it’s not uncommon to ask a new acquaintance to spell their name so you can friend them on Facebook.

Everyone likes to feel popular. That’s why some Facebookers, especially in the site’s early days, hoarded friends like poker chips (never mind that most of these “friends” were rarely seen co-workers, distant relatives or vaguely remembered classmates from junior high). Nobody really has 583 “friends.”

Facebook’s “friend” also was the precursor to Twitter’s “follower,” which makes a user’s social contacts sound like members of a cult.


Facebook giveth, and Facebook taketh away. Are you tired of your uncle’s political rants? Unfriend him!

By adding an “unfriend” option, Facebook created new shorthand for aborting a friendship or an acquaintance. It’s a lot easier to say, “I unfriended Bob” than “I’m not going to be friends with Bob anymore because he annoys me with his daily musings about his toenails.”

Unfriending someone is considered a more drastic step than simply tweaking your Facebook settings to block or minimize their posts.

The term was officially welcomed to the digital-age vernacular by the New Oxford English Dictionary, which named “unfriend” its Word of the Year for 2009.

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