Thursday, April 17, 2014

{my first profile pic on Facebook. sassy}

I remember, ahem, "back in the day," (and I can legitimately say that now because I just watched the "Kids React to: Walkmans" video and I felt legitimately "back in the day" legit old), when our creaky dial-up internet would connect me to my sparkly (literally) new MySpace page. With a continually rotating top 12 friends and an entire narcissistic About Me paragraph, including several choice cerebral musings about taking the road less traveled AND IT HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE, yes, all the difference at the age of 15, my entrance into social media had begun. 

By the Fall of 2006, my college dorm room was set up and my graduation laptop was constantly logged in Facebook mode. I mean, homework mode. kinda homework mode. I'm a SAHM now, so we can, you know, laugh about it

And now, well, now I have an iPhone. 
My parents lost me in the middle of Target when I was two and found me crying in the entertainment section, surrounded by a wall of televisions blaring Ursula's face in the finale scene of The Little Mermaid, and then fast forward about seven months ago when I left my phone at a restaurant table. The fear was palpable in both those scenarios. Enough said.

Between Blogger, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, one really intense Candy Crush phase and recently signing up for Clash of Clans because my husband needs my Elixir (don't ask), and definitely the PBS kids app, I'm overwhelmed! Mainly surprised my right wrist doesn't have carpal tunnel yet.

Every single day there is something thrust smack dab in my face. Buy this! Make this! Eat this! Wear this! Learn this! Read this! Go this! Like this! Cute this! Look this! Viral this! Trend this! This! This! #THIS! This is exhausting just to read. Let it be officially stated though, if you post a photo of your cute child, I will not be able to like it ENOUGH. My stone heart is easily crumbled by those baby thighs. That sounds weird, so we are moving on! 

In 2014 alone, a majority of us will appear as paleo-lifestyle-ethically-sourced-coffee-roasting-curate-conscious-yogi-fueled-hypnobirthing-herbalist-gardening-vsco-filtering-francophiles. They have us weaving damn tapestries now. I know, because I made one and it's hanging in the living room. All this to say: I am one of the "they." I've lived in Portland most of my life, so I feel like this is more of an innate thing rather than trend-conditioned. I'm still open to theories. 

Eight years of (almost) daily online interaction later, and I honestly don't know though.
I'm constantly asking myself, "Why am I sharing this right now?" Is social media my way to be seen on a daily basis? Am I being validated and connected through the glass screen? Finding inspiration or lamenting aspiration? If I bake gluten-free chia kombucha kelp cookies and don't Instagram it, did it really happen? 

(The answer is yes. But they were probably my grandmother's chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with a first ingredient of: all the butter in your fridge, melted. And I WILL eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an entire week straight)

There are many of you that I have never met in real life and yet, I know the most intimate of life's details including: what your kitchen backsplash looks like, what you made for dinner yesterday, if we have matching shoes from Target, your favorite coffee drink, who your grandmother is...
This is the new normal. "Hi! I just met you...and I already know everything about you."  

(Not normal: the majority of Instagram accounts found in the "popular" page. 
If you are over the age of seven and your photo gallery is 99% #selfies...that's an entirely different blog post) 

During my senior year of high school, a seemingly shy girl in a different class that I didn't "know" friended me on MySpace. For several weeks straight, I would sign into my account and there would be a cheerful message, out of the blue, from her. The back and forth online interaction gradually grew into her opening up about school troubles, relationship worries, you know, all that fun high school stuff. I'd listen, offer advice, give encouragement, basically, channel my inner Oprah and hit "reply." 

And then the strangest thing would happen. 

I'd run into her on campus, the following day, and it was like we had never talked. I mean, technically, we hadn't. 
She still couldn't figure out that face-to-face friendship. 
Yet, she still wanted to be heard. 

We all do. 


{Bon Bon}


Amanda Wissmann said...

This IS the new normal...isn't that kind of strange?!

I really loved this post.

Mish Lovin' Life said...

Yes. All of this, yes. It's all just so odd. Sometimes I want to through in the towel and be done with it and just eat my food in SECRET. But then something else takes over and I take a picture and I can't seem to post it fast enough for a bunch of strangers to see, to which I then wait anxiously and hope they "like it", or "heart" it. (I'm literally making a face right now at how absurd this all is.)

I like your thinking, Bon. I like it a lot. And I'm still waiting for the day we can actually meet in REAL life. And I promise I won't pretend I don't know you. ;)


brittany said...

ummm i love this!!! this this #this!! it's a crazy new age we are living in. i remember buying my own *discman* i had saved up for in 6th grade! and my myspace, oh dear ;)

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