I remember the day I got my college email address. It came, a small piece of information, in a large acceptance envelope to Northeastern University. The reason I remember this day was not because I got accepted into college, but because I knew that with that college email address I could officially and finally make a Facebook account. Back then, it was some new up and coming thing that was hella exclusive and super cool. It was strictly for college kids, trying to “stay in touch” with each other. Whether or not that was actually true, I was simply content with the idea that I was going to become part of something bigger. Like, having this email address would keep me connected to all of the people in my life that I had bonded with for 4 years, and also introduce me to this new mysterious college crowd that would help me suddenly mature into a new more hip or cool self. Obviously all of these things happened, but I must say, social media is not what it used to be.
For one thing, there isn’t anything exclusive about it anymore. In fact, it’s become quite the opposite thing. Now, if you don’t have a Facebook account, or an Instagram account, or a snapchat then you’re the perceived weirdo. When did that become the norm? The other day, I was speaking to a friend, and before we parted ways, she said “don’t worry, I’ll send you the link to the article on Facebook.” I stopped, opened my purse to fish for my keys and then casually mentioned to her that I am not on Facebook. She froze. She remained still and quiet for almost and entire minute with a mixture of shock and confusion on her face before blurting out “you’re shitting me right? Like, how do you show people the cool shit you do? What kind of person doesn’t have Facebook? ” I shock my head and laughed at her remark before getting into my car, but in my mind I was thinking “a normal kind. A normal and very ordinary person can get go on with life without Facebook and be perfectly ok. I would have been a bit irritated at the response, if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s not the first time I’ve heard it. When did I become the weirdo for not wanting to partake in every available type of social media out there? I mean, call me old school, but I’d like to carefully curate what I put on display for the world to see. I don’t know what may come back and bite me in the ass later. I refuse to believe that I’m the only one who has this viewpoint. I can’t be the only one.
When I got home, I grabbed my laptop and proceeded to scour the internet in search of anyone who, like me, jumped off the Facebook train and led a perfectly normal, and fulfilling life. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to find evidence of that on the internet, but I needed to look somewhere. So I did.
The point is, just because I chose to not post every second of my life on social media, doesn’t mean I’m weird, or that it didn’t happen.