The Road to (Helpful) Distractions

Social media is embedded in my generation. Every print media is now going online, which therefore makes the user number immensely grow. It’s unheard of for teenagers and young adults to not be socially active in various networks, and I am far from adding to that number.


I have gone through the gamut of social media: from AIM to MySpace, from Facebook to Twitter. When AIM was introduced in 1997, I joined that bandwagon when peer pressure got the best of me. It wasn’t long until I thanked all my friends who pushed me in that direction. Was it thanking or cursing? I became an AIM vegetable—spending every waking hour online chatting with my friends, hearing the latest gossip, and figuring out plans for the upcoming weekend. It was great until the computer screen became my eyes and procrastination became my identity.


Then a new phenomenon came to life: MySpace. AIM was still useful for the instantaneous conversations, but MySpace gave AIM so much more than just personality. I had my own profile—one of pictures, information, and character. I could look into my friend’s profiles and see their personality’s shine through their choice of music, books, hobbies, etc. Also featuring a wall to write on, this became a glorified e-mail system to the younger crowd since e-mailing friends was rare.


The new social networking site Facebook quickly suppressed MySpace, and Twitter was soon to follow. Facebook was more private and, at first, an elite site to get into. Things altered when more people wanted to be apart of the network, which allowed more pictures to be added as well as chatting. Where musicians primarily used MySpace, students primarily used Facebook; Twitter became the social networking site of celebrities and businesses. This site enables users to update their current status anytime they want; which is not only great for celebrities and businesses to publicize themselves on their daily news and whereabouts, but also a perfect way to have people follow them and be updated on the most recent reports.


I not only have used all of these sites, but am now using blogging as another source of social networking. All of these different sites have enabled my use to connect with friends, to publicize myself for a future career, and also to participate in the fad that is social networking.