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.