Social media has been with me for as long as I can remember in my “online” life. Starting with AIM, moving to iChat, then bringing in MySpace (Yes, I was on Myspace and I actually miss it), then Facebook, Tumblr, Formspring, and so on.
My initial thoughts on social media are hard to describe because a. I don’t remember them and b. I never thought of social media as “social media” until Facebook came along. So, it will be a bit difficult for me to reach back and think about my initial thoughts on social media as a whole, because I had already immersed myself in it. Perhaps I will just go through a timeline of the platforms that have really stood out to me.
This is probably the one I remember the least. I started using AIM towards the end of my elementary school career, and I remember loving it so much. My family was amused by username luvthypizza96 (Honestly, who doesn’t love pizza?), and I remember my friends always had a hard time figuring out who I was because everyone else’s username reflected their real name in some way.
I LOVED Myspace. I miss it whenever I think about it, so I purposely try not to think about it too often. I was on Myspace all of the time trying to find new music and figure out new codes to use to hack my profile page and change the background. I remember scrolling through websites with various codes for customized backgrounds. I remember Blingee being the website everyone used to edit profile pictures. Myspace was such a great time. I really love the old Myspace. If I had to choose between Myspace and Facebook, I would choose Myspace every day.
I like to think of myself as a member of the elite group of people who joined Facebook before 2010. In fact, I joined towards the end of 2007, and I barely remember what it used to look like then. I do remember, though, old features that don’t exist anymore such as a status staying at the top of your profile for a week. I thought that was so cool. Also, who remembers FarmVille?!?! Those were the days!! And if we’re going to reach further back, does anyone the awful Bathroom Wall or the game Zombies? I doubt anyone has ever even heard of the latter, but I figured it was worth a shot.
If I’m ever feeling down and want to turn to social media, it is safe to assume that Twitter will be my first stop. Twitter. Is. HILARIOUS. I follow accounts that tweet and retweet some of the funniest things I have ever read in my life. It is amazing to see how creative, quick thinking, and witty people are in such a fast paced environment. People are always ready to come up with great line to put a comical spin on a specific topic, and when that become old news, they’re already ready for the next big hit. I don’t participate in the Twitter feed nearly as much as I take, but I am glad this class is going to change that. Not only will I be participating more, but I will actually be checking Twitter significantly more often than I already do. Twitter is great.
Here is a platform I distinctly told myself I would never join because I was “above” it. 267 followers later…. Enough said. I’m pretty inconsistent with Instagram — sometimes I am always checking what people are posting and making sure I post regularly, and sometimes (including right now) I completely forget that “part” of the world even exists. I feel pretty indifferent towards Instagram. I do know, though, that I should follow more accounts that spark my interest, not another acquaintance whose photos look just like everyone else’s. Food for thought.
I am terrible at Snapchat. That’s just how it is. I am not sure how well my friends are able to take it, but I really can’t keep up with Snapchat at all. I don’t watch anyone’s story unless I am specifically told to, and I typically respond two personal snaps in 3 days. Minimum. I don’t know what it is, but it does not appeal to me the way it appeals to others. I might as well delete it at this point.
In conclusion, I think it is pretty clear that as time has gone on, the less involved in social media I have become. I sometimes wonder if that is just due to my age, but then I realize that all of my friends are still pretty active. I think I’ve just lost interest because social media is virtual and not real. I’ve recently become more interested in actually using my phone and other devices less in order to do more of what I want to do, which has resulted in my being less consistent with my social media posting. Hopefully I will find a happy balance soon.
Something I should also add is that I used to see social media as a necessity, rather than a tool. I used to think that I needed to be connected on every “hot” social media platform, otherwise I was missing out and I wasn’t cool. So, I was constantly posting Facebook statuses, commenting on other people’s posts, sharing photos, and I was always signed on to AIM. Even if I wasn’t at the computer, I stayed signed on. I only signed off when the computer turned off.
These days, I am much more reserved with social media. I’m still not using my real and full name for reasons I can’t really explain because I myself don’t know why I do that. Perhaps I subconsciously enjoy the feeling of being a bit of an enigma to people. It ensures that people who find me actually know me, but does it really? Knowingly living in a world where pretty much anyone can discover anything about you, it is a bit odd that I would purposely try to hide my identity. The world may never know.
That’s all for now, folks!