When talking about my initial thoughts on social media, I feel I must reflect upon my humble beginnings with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Because, to me, these are the contents of the not so holy social media trinity. This enticing tale of a young lad with the world at his fingertips also must include the devices for which I accessed these game changing platforms.
My brother and I were lucky enough to get a Macbook Pro when we were in 8th grade. Although this picture is not the exact laptop we got, I like this picture because whoever took it was listening to Levels by Avicii. This laptop changed my life, and I fought with my brother every single day about who got to use it.
After I graduated 8th grade, I created a Facebook account because I was moving away, and I needed a way to keep in touch with my close, life-long friends from my middle school that I definitely still talk with and definitely haven’t de-friended. My parents did not let my brother or I have a cell phone until half-way through freshman year of high school so Facebook was really my only communication tool for a while. I used it to look up my new classmates, and I ignorantly posted statuses out of boredom like, “Like My Status and I will post on your wall a dinosaur that reminds me of you.” Looking back, I actually tear up thinking at how awful I was at this social media tool, but I loved it so much, spending hours on there chatting with people and posting photos looking for approval. However, it has changed, and I hate the long form posts. Part of me dies every time I load Facebook and see the dumb posts of my 1500 closest friends. I used to post every day, now I just check in at Dave & Busters every now and then.
First Cell Phone/iPhone
I was the last kid to get a cell phone because not only do my parents hate me, but I was rocking a “D” in geometry halfway through the first semester of high school. Once I snagged that “B,” my parents got me an ENV 3. My texting game was off the charts, but I did not take my social media game to the next level until I got an iPhone 4 at the beginning of Junior Year. Finally, my messages were blue, and I was socially accepted. The iPhone was the turning point of my social media life.
I joined Twitter in September of 2011, and it was the most important event of my life. My Twitter handle was “ClearyKicksAss,” and I brought the HEAT. My buddy and I created Twitters because we knew that’s where celebrities would go to have beef with each other. I quickly realized that Twitter was the next step in my social media evolution, and that this was the best place to be. It became my one stop shop for hockey highlights, news, comedians, troll accounts, hot takes, and literally everything I could ever want. Not only that, but it was all 140 characters or less. Over the last 6 years I have rebranded (New Handle: Ciaran_Cleary) and watched my timeline evolve from hockey insiders to my first source of worldwide news. It went from something I checked once a day to all day, every day. I love Twitter and consider it a vital part of my life.
I have never had the same passion about LinkedIn that I had/have with the previous two social platforms, but it has been extremely important to my social media life. I created a LinkedIn during my first internship after sophomore year at BC. To me, LinkedIn shrunk corporate America, and it really made me realize how connected I can be to various people and businesses around the world. It is the grown up social media where everyone is encouraged to brag and display their most professional self. I use it for finding jobs, looking up connections, and viewing potential interviewers. However, I struggled and continue to struggle with how exactly to communicate to everyone on their correctly. I believe I will use LinkedIn more and more as I continue to advance and grow up in my professional life.
I have been connected to social media for roughly 9 years, and it has taken over my life in many ways. It has changed the way I consume entertainment, news, information, and how I socialize with my friends and family. There are issues I have all the time with it, and every time I see a racist family member pen a novel like status, I want to throw my phone through my laptop to make sure I never read it again. However, despite all the negatives, I cannot imagine my life without it, and I truly appreciate the way it impacts my life.
Social media has played such an important role in my personal life, that it only seems natural to me that my professional life will be integrated with it. I look forward to seeing how much social media will change over the next decade, and I hope to be an early adapter to the best products. However, I know that Twitter will forever be my social media love, and I will definitely continue to hate Facebook.