Social media has weaved its way into every aspect of my life
As far back as I can remember, I have spent too many hours on the Internet. It has always fascinated me. Starting with ICQ, when my best friend moved away to Singapore, to posting hourly updates on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve had an obsession with socializing on-line.
I created my Facebook account to keep in touch with friends and family at home the first time I travelled across Europe in 2006. I used it to document my every move—where I was, what I was doing—and posted photos from each place I stopped. This was in addition to a blog that I updated frequently.
When I returned home, I used it to keep in touch with the people I’d met. It became something I did everyday— checking to see what people were up to since returning home or where they were travelling next. Slowly, friends at home created accounts, and soon everyone I knew was on Facebook. I can thank social-networking sites for keeping me in touch with people that otherwise would have no place in my life, and for being the inspiration for many of my travels to go back to visit them, from Nashville and Europe to Africa and Japan.
Before Facebook, there was MySpace, which was for me, a very time-consuming hobby. I wrote out all my links by hand and scanned them. I created CSS templates and posted photos daily. When Facebook came out, for me, MySpace died. It was simpler and less time-consuming, with no need to create an interesting profile with CSS and HTML because everyone’s was the same. I no longer maintain my MySpace account, but use it often to listen to music, and find out about new bands and their tour dates.
At work, I use Facebook to contact otherwise inaccessible people and to find out about local happenings. At school, I use it to find out about events and relate stories back to Kwantlen Polytechnic University students. At home, it keeps me up to date with what’s going on in people’s lives, people that face-to-face contact seemed so much simpler with before life got hectic, we all started to grow up, got real jobs, and stepped into reality. I’ll admit, I also use it to play the more-than-occasional game of Word Twist.
Now, for my sister’s upcoming wedding, being her maid of honour comes with the responsibility of a massive amount of planning. With her completely scatterbrained bridal party, Facebook has been the only reliable means of communication between the six of us for planning the bridal shower, lingerie party, stagette, and everything else the perfect wedding must entail.
Facebook has weaved its way into every aspect of my life and is part of my daily routine. I wake up and the first thing I do is check it, same as before falling asleep. Last month, after three years of using Facebook religiously, I realized how carried away I’d become in this social-networking frenzy: My entire life was on Facebook for the entire world to see, not leaving much of anything at all to the imagination.
I decided to tweak my privacy settings and limit my use of Facebook. I blocked anyone I didn’t want knowing every detail about my life, made half of my 83 photo albums private, restricted my privacy settings to control who can contact me and see my personal information, and cut my friends list in half.
Now, I find the latest addition to this social-networking craze, Twitter, to be a harder-to-use version of Facebook status updates, although they’ve become quite similar after this month’s Facebook layout update added some features resembling that of Twitter. Facebook asks me “What’s on your mind?” while Twitter asks me to answer “What are you doing?” in a 140 characters. You can follow me on Twitter to see how I adapt to the latest in on-line social-networking.