Monday, June 17, 2013

Social Media Kind Of Life

Happy Monday! I normally don't say those kinds of things, but since I have been sitting here at work trying to send a fax to someone for like the 5th time and it still won't go through, I figured maybe I should try to stay a little positive about the day.

I had a busy weekend, but not very eventful. Although, when I was hanging out with a group of people, somewhere between all the food and small talk, there was a conversation that came up that kind of got me thinking. Somehow the topic of Myspace came up. It was brought up in a joking way and after a couple comments that conversation died and we were on to a new topic. Most people I know never had any type of social media account until Facebook, and they never even really knew what Myspace was, let alone have an account, so it's kind of weird when I talk to some people about Myspace because not many of my friends really relate to it. 

Myspace getting brought up the other day made me think about how my life has been shaped around social media. For those of you who do not know already, I am currently 20 years old. Are you ready for this? I created a Myspace account when I was 13 years old. That means since the year 2005 I have been on social media. That is almost 10 years, which translates to almost half of my life. Initially, taking in this realization I was kind of in awe, because I am part of the generation where our teen years were spent on the internet. Then I got to thinking, if my generation has essentially spent half of their life thus far on social media, does that mean the generation of children right now are growing up on social media? The answer is yes, and I'm not really sure how to take that because I see the good and bad from it.

I'm not going to lie, at 13 years old I probably shouldn't have been on Myspace. After all, I did have to lie about my age to even create the account to begin with. I don't want to say that Myspace made me be more mature than I had to be at 13 years old, but at the same time I was being exposed to adult language and adult ways of thinking. As much as I had "learned" from Myspace as a young teenager, it never made me a different person or made me act like I was 20 years old. In fact, it was a place where I could write my thoughts and opinions, and as a result inspiring me to create a blog someday, like right now. 

Many adults at the time would say that a child had no place in an online world like that, but if they spent a few days in a junior high and heard what kids talked about on a average day, they would see that unfortunetly there's no way a kid can be protected from it. They are either going to hear it from social media, or they are going to hear it from kids at school. I am not a parent, so I can't pass judgement at them for wanting to protect their kids from "adult content", but what I do know is that they have to be realistic. Kids nowadays are talking about this stuff because it's a different world. Even if your child doesn't have a Facebook account or some other social media account, their friends and classmates do, and those kids will talk about it and what's on it, so at the end of the day, they are still being exposed to it on some level. 

On the bright side, I have seen a change in the past 7 years as social media has become a part of almost everyone's lives. When I was 13 and on Myspace, it was before Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and before parents and other adults were on it. Before parents and older people were on social media, they really didn't accept it, and I could see that in the way parents were so strict on my friends about it. Now, however, there is a very different attitude towards it. I see parents who have kids around the age of 11 and 12 not making it a big deal that their kids have social media accounts, and I think that is a tremendous step forward.

I have to say that for the most part I am pro social media, and I guess that's true based on what I have talked about so far in this post. While I think social media has so many beneficial aspects to it, I do worry about the future of kids. I feel sorry for them because they do most of their communication through texting or through social media and I fear that they will not have good comunnication skills when they are face to face with someone. I think my generation is kind of on the boarderline regarding this because we weren't exposed to social media our entire lives. Those kids growing up right now though, social media is all they are going to know, and it is a little sad to think about. We are all living in a social media kind of life, and I am very interested to see how the future will shape kids growing up today.

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