23 College Rituals ‘The Facebook Generation’ Will Never Understand


1. There was an actual hardcover facebook distributed to incoming freshman. Everyone treated this black and white booklet listing all their classmates’ photos alongside a few of their interests like the Potential Hookup Bible it was.

2. By day one of student orientation, every male student was fixated on the same hot “facebook girl,” while every female student was fixated on the same hot “facebook guy” (probably a hockey, lacrosse, or football player depending on where you went to school).

3. You didn’t interact with your fellow classmates the summer before first semester. You talked to your roommate (on the phone!), and maybe chatted online with a creepy upperclassman who found you somehow through your AOL profile.

4. If you spotted someone attractive and wanted a shot at meeting them and/or asking them out, you absolutely had to approach them and use words to convey your thoughts and feelings. Otherwise, you might miss your chance altogether because you couldn’t rely on figuring out who anyone was through online stalking.

5. You didn’t get to Google people prior to a first date because no one had a web presence and Google wasn’t even a verb yet. You definitely never knew which “friends” you had in common with someone unless you played the name game.

6. When you started hanging out with a new friend or a potential mate, you had to ask a lot of questions because there was no other way to get to know them or assess your compatibility.

7. You could do a keg stand, funnel a beer, or make out with five guys in one night without worrying that someone might document your escapades, thereby compromising your future career prospects.

8. If you wanted to buy or sell adderall, you had to rely on word of mouth rather than cryptic Craigslist posts.

9. You could do the walk of shame with 99.9 percent certainty that no one would snap a photo of you looking disheveled on your way home after a random hook-up.

10. You could hook up with two brothers in one week before anyone (including the siblings you had sex with) caught on because news traveled that slowly.

11. Sometimes, you’d go an entire day without knowing what any of your friends were up to before, after, or in between classes.

12. Unless of course you stopped by your dorm room to check your voicemail (the non-mobile, land line kind), or glance at your computer screen for any new AIM pop-up windows.

13. If you committed to meeting up with someone at a certain time and place, you actually had to show up. Canceling at the last minute wasn’t socially acceptable because it wasn’t usually possible to do so without being known as an asshole who stands people up.

14. After breaking up with someone, you didn’t have to worry about images of them tagged with some hot guy or girl tainting your newsfeed. And if you wanted ex intel, you had to do your stalking through stealth manipulation of the good ol’ grapevine.

15. If you wanted to be mean to someone (the slut who stole your man, for instance), you had to have the balls to be a bitch to their face. You couldn’t just leave a snide comment on their social posts, or transform an embarrassing photo of them into a viral meme.

16. Social gatherings sometimes revolved entirely around televised programming that you could only catch at a certain time on a certain date. Groups would gather in common rooms every Sunday night at 9pm to watch the latest episode of Sex and the City, for example, and sigh collectively during commercial breaks because there was no fast forwarding.

17. If there was a rally or a protest on campus, there wasn’t a coinciding hashtag. So if you wanted to know what was going on, you either had to participate, or read about it a few days later in the school newspaper.

18. When something was trending, it was a type of sneaker or maybe a brand of denim. Not some newsworthy topic or bleeding heart cause.

19. You couldn’t snub someone by paying more attention to your phone than them (what the kids call “phubbing”) because way back when, phones were dumb and human beings made much better companions.

20. There were no Facebook pages dedicated to your graduating class or any of the specific interest groups competing for your time and attention.

21. If you wanted to join a club, you had to show up to an actual fair on the great lawn, where representatives from each group would sit behind a folding table and try to lure you with neon flyers.

22. If you wanted to run for student government, you had to campaign the old fashioned way, by attaching lame flyers to cork boards and handing them out to disinterested parties on campus.

23. When it was time to consider an internship or a job, you had to attend something called a career fair, where people from different companies stood behind tables set up in an abandoned gym or cafeteria, and fein interest as they discussed the details of their boring lives.