Social media has become a place to share like crazy. When you were a kid your parents had to convince you that sharing was the right thing to do so that Suzy-what’s-her-face’s parents wouldn’t get mad at you for hogging the Play-dough. But the invention of these social platforms has brought a new meaning to the concept of “sharing”. It has revolutionized the way that people disseminate information, and it has encouraged users to publish copious amounts of personal information.
On Facebook we are asked to display our likes and dislikes, our work/education history, and even our relationship status. One day whether or not you have “defined the relationship” was not important; it could be ambiguous to both parties. The next day Facebook junkies claimed, “It’s not official until it’s ‘Facebook Official.’” And suddenly you were either “in a relationship” or openly single. Or if you this really put you in an awkward situation you could make it more awkward by declaring, “it’s complicated.”
Twitter welcomes users to “tweet” what’s on their mind in 140 characters. At first this may sound like a simple task. You mean to say that all I have to do is think of something to say for others to see and I just push ‘Tweet’ and it’s out there? For anyone—oops! You just reached your limit, and you didn’t even say anything clever. I don’t think that is favorite-worthy, and it’s definitely not retweet-worthy. Suddenly, “tweeting” becomes more work than you signed up for when you were urged to create an account.
If you want to be an amateur photographer, all you have to do is download “Instagram”. This is where the magic happens. You snap a shot with your iPhone (or other smartphone), and voila! With Valenica, X-Pro II, Earlybird or any other filter of your choice you too can now have “semi-artsy-looking” photos.
We are in an era where “sharing” is easier than ever. All you have to do is press “publish” and your words and photos are out there—wherever “there” happens to be. But every now and then, we can use these social media platforms to remind us of times past.
Something I found on Facebook made me realize the phrase “Where are you?” has only been around as long cell-phones have. Before if you were talking to someone you knew where they were: either with you or at the location of the landline you dialed.
The term “follower” might have been used to refer to someone who was stalking you. I think we can all agree that there is an all around negative connotation with “stalking.” Yet, it’s almost become an unspoken competition of “who can get the most followers.” And don’t even get me started on “the ratio.”*
In the past if you wanted a photograph in an instant, you probably had a Polaroid camera. Mine was made by Barbie—they even had Barbie-framed film. Now we share our lives through the lens of our smartphones, and we can manipulate it as we please. But as we share new moments, we still reminisce over old ones with #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt. Join me to soak in the nostalgia of my childhood.
*It’s another unspoken competition on having more followers than people you follow. It’s as silly as it sounds.