I love social media and use it excessively, some might say. I Facebook, Instagram and Pin…I gave up Tweeting because, frankly, I couldn’t keep up. I love the fact that by simply logging on, I can keep in touch with friends and family spread across the globe. Now that being said ( and I’m showing my age here), I didn’t access Facebook until the ripe old age of 23, when heading off to Uni my friends advised me I NEEDED a Facebook page! Why?! I have a Bebo and it’s soooo cool! Not entirely convinced, I set up my boring Facebook page and shared endless status updates with my measly 10 friends ( the rest were still steadfast Bebo’ers). Slowly but surely other friends joined and Bebo, RIP, was long forgotten. Although it was primitive by today’s standards it taught me a lot about social media. The main lesson being teenage me could not have handled social media.
Which one? There’s so many to choose from…Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…I could go on but you get my point. How do you chose a network? Or are you a complete social media butterfly with a profile on each? Teenage me would have tried them all, and in all likelihood, would have spent my time glued to a screen with no real-world interactions.
Time’s a wasting: Back in the teen years, had a tight schedule between school, my part time job, choir, football, and the local theatre group. Where would I have found time for social media…what could I have let slide?! School obviously! Had social media been around when I was in school, I would not have done a tap of actual school work…I would have been much too busy snooping on Facebook. I would have been creative in my excuses, “I swear Miss, I’m chatting to my French pal, she’s teaching me all about irregular verbs”, but inevitably I would have failed miserably and would definitely not have developed half the life skills my social media-free teenage years allowed me to develop.
Bitches be Crazy: Let’s face it teenage me, like most teenage girls, had a good healthy dose of neurotic-ism. Add social media to the mix and I would have a full blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder.Social media also puts intense pressure on young girls to live up to the expectations of their friends. Recently my 15 year old niece and I were talking about an upcoming night out and what she could wear. I suggested an outfit I had seen her in on Facebook, to which she was utterly horrified, “I can’t wear that, sure everyone has seen it on Facebook”. Whilst I was shocked at her response, I too can relate and have been known to avoid a camera at social occasions, because of the whole ‘recycled outfit’ issue. A saying my mother used comes to mind “Don’t try keep up with the Jones” but now we are keeping up with the Jones, The Smiths, The Browns…..
Similarly I know another teenager who got bullied after putting up holiday pics because friends said she was showing off. So where is the line? How much can we share without over sharing?
He Loves me/He loves me not: My teenage relationships were few and far between but had I been online, I 100% believe they would have been far fewer. We all have that one friend whose relationship plays out online. When times are good he’s in her profile picture but we can see a storm brewing when cryptic status updates appear on our news-feeds. Then there’s the ‘ex’ situation. How much harder to get over a breakup if you could see his every move online….16 year old me definitely could not have coped with all this relationship angst on the internet!
WTF, LOL, LMAO, DFR: I had a hard enough time mastering English, please do not ask me me to learn this. Teenage me would have failed every English exam had social media been prevalent when I was at school. My sister who is a teacher, says that social media or text talk is a real problem in school. Aside from the educational impact, socially I wouldn’t of survived this acronym chat. TID TIND 🙂
Could you have survived the teenage years if social media was around when you were a self-conscious adolescent?