I have no memory of what my initial thoughts on social media were when I first joined facebook in 7th grade. I had a very distant relationship with social media at this point because I didn’t have a smart phone or my own computer, so I rarely used facebook. I really didn’t see the point of it at first because my newsfeed was merely pictures and statuses from people that I saw everyday at school. I definitely joined facebook just because most of my friends had, my older sister was using it constantly, and most of the attractive girls at my middle school were on it. As the school years went along and new forms of social media became popular (i.e. instagram and snapchat) my relationship with social media really heated up. Come to think of it, as I got deeper in puberty and started to look a lot less like an 8 year old boy, I began using social media much more in order to really increase my brand with the coeds at my high school. By senior year of high school, I had definitely succumbed to the current epidemic of social media addiction that has affected the mass majority of the millennial generation. At this point, I spent a lot of my time perusing through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram but did not use social media for its actual benefits the way I feel I do now. I did have a pretty sweet social media game at this point in my life, though. I was the starting quarterback for the varsity football team so I thought pretty highly of myself, just like the other 3,000 kids at my school thought of me. This confidence caused me to spend a lot of time making pretty ignorant and inappropriate statuses and tweets that my friends and I thought were pretty funny, but eventually caused me to delete my twitter account once I realized it was not a good idea to have my name attached to the inappropriate material I had been posting. I also definitely took my social media game to the more conservative side once my parents got on facebook. I couldn’t have my mom seeing the hoodrat stuff that goes on once you turn 18 and can buy lottery tickets and gamble at casinos on Native American reservations.
Fast-forward to senior year of college and my use of social media has been greatly intensified. I use my IPhone as my alarm clock, so the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is turn the alarm off and then scroll through all forms of social media that I use. This, in turn, causes the last thing I do every night to be going through my social media apps after I set my alarm before going to sleep. Sometimes boys will tell a girl that they’re the first thing they think about in the morning, and the last thing they think about when they go to sleep. It seems like this must be the love affair that I have with social media, and I’m perfectly fine with that. That is because I’ve greatly changed the way I use social media. I now see it as a way to not only see what’s happening in the day to day life of my classmates here at BC, but I also get to follow what’s going on in the lives of the many friends I had growing up. Once everyone goes to college and moves away from home, you lose touch with a lot of people you were pretty close with for a long time. You may not necessarily be directly contacting them through social media, but it is nice to be able to see how your high school friends’ lives are developing as our college experience comes to an end and we move on to the real world. My parents have explained to me that they only stayed in touch with a few very close friends from both high school and college, and that it wasn’t until they got on facebook that they were able to reconnect with many friends from their past. I obviously don’t only use it to follow the lives of friends from the past. I do partake in the mindless
entertainment that social media has provided us for years now.
A lot of people criticize our generation for being addicted to our phones. While that criticism may be warranted due to the fact that it has changed the way people communicate, it has also connected people from across the world in an entirely new way. Social media allows people to not only connect with friends, but also has the ability to facilitate uprisings like the Arab Spring and the current protests against the actions of President Trump. It has allowed a large number of people to become connected with politics and world news who might not have otherwise done so. I never read newspapers and rarely watch news programs, so having the ability to keep up with world events and the current political landscape through social media platforms not only shows how much social media has changed since its beginnings, but also how my use of social media has changed since I joined.