We grew up before social media was a thing – sometimes I think this is a good thing and sometimes I think I missed out.
I was 35 when I started my Twitter account and 36 when I joined Facebook. I resisted Facebook for a while, but decided to join when I went on mat leave so that I could share my pictures of my new baby with friends, family and colleagues. I quickly realized that it was a great way to keep up – and I was hooked.
At the same time my sister, who is 11 years younger than me, was using social media for everything from making plans to go out to networking to find her next job. She never picked up a phone and I actually knew that it was easier to get a hold of her on Facebook than it was to leave her a voicemail. She grew up online.
I was a bit of a wild child when I was younger, and though we have a few photos, there’s not much evidence! Most people weren’t carrying cameras around with them on nights out – we didn’t yet all have camera phones – so there are only pictures of special occasions or weekends away. They’re printed away in albums and rarely circulate unless someone gets inspired on a #ThrowbackThursday. And I’m glad we didn’t all have camera phones so that embarrassing pictures could not be turned into memes and go viral. I think that would be one of my biggest fears if I grew up in the golden age of social media!
But I am glad I joined when I did. Now that my boys are 5 and 7, I show them the albums and share the videos I posted. It’s better than any family album, it’s completely the highlights of their early years. They love seeing the baby pictures, the funny things they did, the cute outfits I’ve all but forgotten, the pets who are now past, previous homes. And more than just an album, there’s commentary. With dates and timestamps, there’s not only an explanation of the moment, there’s reaction from everyone I know, and they love hearing the responses.
So while I’m glad I missed growing up on social media, it’s among my most favourite inventions of my adult life!
Suburban Mommy Michelle adds:
I am in total agreement. I am still learning how to communicate in abbreviations and few words for social media. LMFAO, LO, OOTD, QOTD, MIL, FIL, FML (just learned that one – that’s a goody) I am still learning. There are times where I was just too embarassed to ask and Webster’s couldn’t define (I should have checked the Urban dictionary). Have we done away with speaking English properly? (Sorry my mom is an English professor). And hashtag…who invented that word and what does it mean? Nope wasn’t born into the hashtagging generation. But, it has certainly been an experience expressing how I feel with a number sign prior to every word that I write.
I miss writing letters, picking up the phone, having proper catch ups face-to-face – I wonder if anyone under 30 even knows what I pen pal is?
So a part of me like Elisa, is glad that social media didn’t exist while I grew up – I had some really bad outfits and really bad hair. The debauchery in my 20’s was not caught on Instagram thank heavens! A few gems can be found in an album hidden away in a box buried in my basement. Don’t get any bright ideas!
And on the other hand, I too relish the times when Facebook sends me a “memory” of my children to remind me how blessed I am. So much easier than sifting through an envelope of photos or making a print from a negative.