Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Social Networking Story

In Chapter 10, the text discusses the rise of social networking sites. So I'd thought that I'd reflect on my rise through social networking.

My first experience on social networking was with Myspace. I remember thinking long and hard about who my "Top 8" were going to be, and changing my background as often as I changed my lip gloss. I found the "questionnaires" and chain surveys to be a fun way to get to know people in my little group. There was a rough patch as one of my long-lost aunts managed to get in touch with me, but it was a valuable lesson on privacy. I admit to dabbling into AIM Messenger and MSN Chat, but those were some weird times that are best forgotten. 

After Myspace, I found my way over to Facebook in the relatively early days. There weren't many people on the website at that time, and I mainly used it to stay in contact with older friends and friends that lived in places far from home. Many of the Myspace traditions (chain surveys, lax security) carried over into this new medium. I really didn't know what to do with my Facebook, except like pages that I would come to regret several years later and play games. It wasn't until I was well into high school that I really started using it for its intended purpose: networking and staying in touch with friends. I think this was because I started to realize how important retaining those connections were, especially with the people that were graduating and moving to parts unknown.

Nowadays, I do most of my social networking either on Facebook or on Tumblr. I've found that I use Facebook more for people that I know in person. In fact, I know that I only add people to my Friends list whom I've met face-to-face. It keeps my "real" internet self safe, and prevents any unwanted interactions. I've been notorious for deleting people without a second thought for as small of an infraction as whining too much via status. But I use Tumblr to express a nerdier side of myself, one that I'm not entirely sure that I want just anyone seeing. I feel more comfortable expressing this "fangirl" side of me, mostly because this social network has a certain level of anonymity. There are some people who know who I really am, but most of my "followers" only see a URL (user name) and a series of pictures/text posts. It would be a hard for me to say which is more the "real" me, and I wouldn't be able to do it with a gun to my head. 


  1. I am surprised to hear that you did not really use AIM because I know how prevalent it was in my middle school. People would log into their messenger programs as soon as they were home and would put a lot of thought into their away messages, buddy profile, and AIM icon. Messenger was my first real experience with social networking, and I remember spending many long nights chatting with my classmates online. I am curious to hear why you did not use or enjoy that form of networking.
    Myspace followed soon after I began to use AIM, and like you I remember how much effort I put into creating my page. I learned HTML while trying to create the perfect background and layout, a skill that I am glad to still have.
    I love what you said about exposing the nerdier side of your self on Tumblr, but not wanting to share it in a broader space. I can really relate to that, except the platform I use is Pinterest. I have a Tumblr as well, but I enjoy browsing others' pages on that site more than working on my own.
    Did you ever use any other platforms? Xanga, Twitter, deviantART, Couchsurfing, Photobucket, Goodreads, Purevolume, etc.? I feel as though people always reference the big social networking sites, but tend to overlook the smaller or more area specific spaces.

  2. MYSPACE TOP 8! Wow, blast from the past. I remember when that was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, because I didn't want to offend and start drama! Too funny...
    I also like Tumblr for its anonymity, it alows you to share and post without the potential judgement from small-minded folk, like those who flock on Facebook. Even though FB is designed to be a "well-rounded" view of who we are, I think that's BS. Sure it may give someone an idea of who I am and what I like, but I think way too many people take it too seriously. Some users believe that because they are your FB friend, they know your side of the story and they don't hesitate to form judgements. Ugh.. social's a love/hate relationship.

  3. I definitely "remember" the days of Myspace Top 8 and picking a good enough song. It's funny though, because I never thought I'd have to remember it. In 8th grade, Myspace was basically my journal and at the time, I couldn't of imagined not having it. Now, I can't imagine not having Twitter. I find myself semi-addicted to these social media outlets. But I'm getting through life fine without Myspace. So could I get by without them, or only if something else replaces it? I couldn't tell you. I hate Facebook and rarely use mine unless it's for picture posting, but deleting would mean losing frequent contact with relatives that live out of state. I also use Facebook for very specific people, and that's why I don't mind it. Twitter I use for self expression more and I really enjoy it. Although I'm on it maybe too much, I could live without it and I would probably avoid more personal problems that are caused by mis-communications due to them. Honestly, I'm even surprised on how much I rely on social media, and I wonder if I always will.