It's easy to be down on Facebook today, when the monolithic social network is accused of suppressing conservative news and pressuring its 1.65 billion users to broadcast live video from their smartphones.
But it wasn't always like this.
Try to imagine a beer-drenched dorm room. That annoying "friend" you've been stuck with since Welcome Week just took a bong rip. He coughs smoke, turns to you and asks: "Are you on ... The Facebook?"
If you're having trouble conjuring it, we'll go ahead and refer you to a 2004 NPR report about the service: "Web Site Helps College Students Break the Ice." It's two minutes and 20 seconds of sheer ironic joy, because it in no way describes the online behemoth so many of us are shackled to today.
"Thanks to the Internet and some crafty underclassmen, now you can get to know your roommate -- or mates -- without the inconvenience of actually meeting them."
"You can even submit a picture."
"The getting-to-know-you website thefacebook.com"
"[It] has almost 200,000 users. It provides just enough information to allow users to scratch below the surface, down to the superficial."
"One junior -- we'll call him Tri Epsilon -- entered this under the category of 'Other': 'I like listening to music, basketball, board games, making cool things out of foil and smoking hookah.' Hookah: That would be a water pipe similar to a bong."
"[Facebook co-founder] Chris Hughes says websites like thefacebook.com are not supposed to be a replacement for frat parties, fraternizing over Frappucinos or other collegial pursuits."
Oh, Chris. If only you knew what your project would become.
Check the full segment out below.