I love social media. I know I spend way too much time on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr and I only kind of regret it. It's fascinating that even though social media has existed for just over a decade, it's so easily been incorporated into our everyday lives. I'm always curious about the next big social tool to come around, and even if I'm not so active on newer tools like Vine and Snapchat, I can still appreciate them for what they potentially mean in terms of future entertainment.
But, as we all know, not everything about social media is great. There are days when I have to take a break from it because the constant consumption of information gets overwhelming quickly. And I’m so glad that social media isn't something I grew up with. Not because I’m judging people for “revealing too much of themselves” online (hello, I regularly blog and tweet about my life), but because the Internet is, well, the Internet. There are creeps and trolls hacking into personal files, companies using your information to sell you stuff, the government spying on you, and nothing that shows up online ever really disappears.
These are the reasons why I didn't like it when my youngest sister created a Facebook account while she was still in high school. I thought it'd be better not to start an “Internet trail” so early, and I still think that. Unless you’re "building your brand” online, I really don’t think there’s any reason to allow companies like Google or Facebook to start harvesting your information and sending targeted ads your way (unless you’re into that). Basically, as much as I love the Internet and social media, we're very vulnerable online. And seeing kids online reminds me of just how much embarrassing and awkward childhood can be. If Facebook or Twitter had come around just a few years earlier, here are a few things that would be floating around the Internet forever.
1. Embarrassing thoughts
At 24, I've had several instances of discovering earlier posts I'd written that once seemed reasonable, but are now seem embarrassingly full with naivete and ignorance. Just think about how you'd feel if tweets and status updates you posted in middle school were still floating around the Internet to this day. Exactly. We all said really stupid things when we were kids, we're just lucky there wasn't away to publicly document it online.
2. Fights with friends
This falls under stupid things we said and did as kids. Childhood drama is, for lack of a better word, childish. Even adult drama is awkward to see unfold online. Just imagine that fight you had with your best frenemy in fifth grade. Now imagine if it took place on Twitter or Facebook? We have a lot to be thankful for.
3. Old artwork
I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid, and I made my first “comic” when I was about seven or eight. It was called “The Adventures of Super Kitty” and was about a humanoid cat with superpowers (hard-hitting stuff). If I still had it, a nicely filtered picture of the cover might be a great #ThrowbackThursday, but if I’d somehow posted the entire comic online, we'd have problems. Super Kitty had a husband, and my understanding of adult relationships back then was, erm, limited. That's not something I want coming up when I google myself.
4. Awkward phases
Much like my comics and my understanding of adult relationships, my looks were still in the works. Some looks that nobody outside my family needs to remember include the month I didn't get my glasses fixed and wore tape on them and period when I alternated between just two outfits, one of which was entirely pink. Do I even have to mention puberty?
I was bullied a bit in middle school and it made me miserable. But I was lucky enough to go to a different high school from my tormentors and that pretty much ended things. But if social media had been around, different schools wouldn't have been an obstacle. Kids are terrible, and I've seen what they can do to each other now that they've got the power of the internet. I still consider myself lucky.
Images: Wifflegif (2); Giphy (3)