When I was in high school, Myspace was the chosen mode of social media for the masses. I’m actually surprised that it went out of vogue the way that it did; it was much easier to lie about who you were on there than it is on Facebook. That’s probably not the right way to explain it because people lie on Facebook all the time. What I really mean is that it was easier to create a persona on Myspace. There were just all these tools at your disposal. There was a large assortment of wallpapers to choose from and you could basically pick any song in the known universe to play whenever someone dropped by your page. You could write a mysterious sounding bio, and if you learned a bit of HTML, you could really spice things up with how things were arranged. You were able to pick your top eight friends, thereby letting the world know just how hip your squad was, and filter your comments to only show the cool things you were up to.
It was fun. It was also fake. I may have looked totally edgy with my inky black hair, staring dreamily off into the distance, but in reality, I probably just finished a huge pile of english homework and I was off to do my algebra next, while my mom constantly reminded me that she’d asked me to put the towels in the dryer six times now (They’re going to mildew, Emily!). Sounds like a super rad existence, doesn’t it?
I liked Myspace though. I was very much a loner back then and a bit sheltered and it opened a big wide world of all these different people to me. Myspace is also where the selfie was born. And boy, did I take about a million back then.
I am not much for the selfie these days. Don’t get me wrong, I do take them occasionally (I have a selfie in my About section), but it’s rare. I try not judge people who do take them, but it’s hard not to when you see someone post about a million a day on Facebook. What kills me the most is when it’s obvious that they just had an impromptu photo session in their car. I mean, come on! How can you possibly have time to do that? My thoughts while I’m waiting in line at the bank or the pharmacy do not start with, “Well, better take some sexy, glamour shots of myself while I wait!” and it absolutely blows my mind that other peoples’ thoughts do. It all just feels so incredibly self involved to me.
I also don’t feel the need to document every single moment of my son’s life in pictures. I do take pictures of him, for sure, and in the past I’ve even been guilty of snagging a few for the express purpose of posting them on Facebook just to show everyone how beautiful he is (and he is beautiful). But there are just so many moms out there that I feel may have had kids just so they could brag on Facebook. I know that sounds ridiculous, but is it really that far out there? People do all sorts of things for attention, and having kids has always ranked somewhere on the list.
This is one of the biggest reasons I hate social media. It feels like it exists for people to “humbly brag” about their lives and I think it encourages us to think too much about ourselves. When your world revolves around what pictures you’re going to post on Facebook today, that’s when you know you’re not really living. So put down the phone. Enjoy your moments. Not every one of them needs to be documented with a photo. Some of them are just meant to be lived.