Social media wasn't really a thing when I was growing up. Online communication consisted mainly of AOL chat rooms, AIM, and everything else AOL had to offer. Yahoo was the one source of truth. When Myspace came around, I was in high school, which meant I obsessively stalked my crushes/celebrities/good-looking people and wrote blog posts filled with angst and one-sided love confessions. I still remember thinking Facebook was so pointless when it came out (Too embarrassed to confess anything when I knew all these people in real life). And Twitter (140 characters? All worthy sappy song lyrics were longer than that). Despite that, I was too curious (and eager to fit in) not to be an early adopter.
Fast forward to college and beyond. My (now) husband and I tweeted to each other before we met for the first time. My childhood best friends were posting photos that gave me a glimpse in their lives without picking up the phone. Soon enough, I'd fall asleep pinning stuff on Pinterest, check Tumblr first thing in the morning (even before coffee), and spend my days finding walls and food that were 'Instagramable.' I began to obsess over social media, spending my time 'heart-ing,' liking, and retweeting. Social media has nothing to do with being social, and has everything to do with feeling wanted, loved, craved, and most importantly, loved.
People are no longer content with being loved by those around them; they want the rest of the world to see them, hear them, feel them. Social media is filled with half-truths, gray areas, unsolicited advice, fiery opinions, and everything else that were easily brushed away in the pre-internet age. It's such an ugly place. That realisation scared me, enraged me, but also intrigued me. Social media is not about truth, beauty, or any of those other pristine beliefs that we hold dear. It's about tact, exposure, strategy, and identity. There is nothing simple about social media and the way it affects us.
I wanted to learn more. Understanding this gave me a sense of control in this new world chaos.
17 Random Things
1. I'm not a particularly social person. Oh, the irony.
2. I used to call customer service departments. Now I just tweet them. So much more effective.
3. 82% of the time, I use my social media powers for good.
4. Speaking of which, my favourite superhero is Spiderman.
5. Yes, I do watch Game of Thrones.
6. No, I didn't read the books.
7. When I was little, I wanted to be a fashion designer.
8. Now I just have a shopping addiction.
9. Don't trust anyone who tells you they're using a "powerful A.I."
10. The idea of a powerful A.I. freaks me out. A lot.
11. My biggest fear is dinosaurs.
12. Yes, I did watch Jurassic World. What? I like cheap thrills.
13. Go Giants! (Baseball, not football. In the same vein, boooo Dodgers!)
14. I don't like chocolate. Or camping.
15. I do like dystopian novels, hot Cheetos, and Netflix though.
16. People and dogs generally like me. Cats don't prefer my company... but that's probably just a cat thing.
17. I don't like sleeping. It really is "falling" for me. Sleepiness tricks me, and I fall for it.