I finally did it! Tonight, December 5th, 2015 at 12:48 AM, I effectively went off the social media grid! And before you ask, blogs don’t count.
For the last few weeks, my social media presence has been weighing on my mind. I kept asking myself questions, like “What are you trying accomplish?” and “What are you getting out of all of this?” Finally it dawned on me: social media has been slowly sucking the life out of me over the years!
It all began in the 5th grade. That was when I got my first email and my first instant messenger screen name. I proudly introduced firstname.lastname@example.org and the AIM screen name mydogmyra into the interwebs (I was (am) still obsessed with my dog. Can you tell?). It was completely innocent at first. I would instant message my cousin, and email back and forth with my friends from camp.
But when I began 6th grade, everything changed. Suddenly people were sending mass emails to everyone in the grade and a lot of people had my email who didn’t before. I was starting to talk to boys over AIM; I talked to boys I liked and boys my friends liked. So much drama happened over AIM; the AIM profile was the precursor to the modern day Facebook profile. You would post song lyrics, quotes, AND a list of your friends, or their initials. God forbid you list someone’s initials and they don’t list yours too, the ultimate betrayal. Any and all of my middle school relationships began and ended with AIM. It was our generation’s texting. Then Facebook happened.
The summer before my freshman year of high school, I started “dating” a guy named Paul. He was my first kiss, and I liked the idea of him more than I liked him. That’s the way it’s supposed to be when you’re 14. He kept bugging me to make a Facebook profile (probably because he wanted to update his relationship status), and finally I gave in and made one. It’s so sad that that was a turning point for me.
Facebook was the most amazing thing to happen to my high school self. Suddenly, in the middle of the summer, I knew what every person I knew was doing with their lives and how they were feeling. It wasn’t like instant message where you had to know someone’s screen name. Suddenly I could find everyone I had ever known and communicate with them whenever I felt like it. And I did. I felt closer to people than I ever had before. It was wonderful. The newsfeed updated every couple of minutes with everyone’s activity. This is what social media is meant to be. A way to connect everyone in the world together and make the world feel like a smaller place. But it quickly spun out of control.
To be continued…