I don't remember why we were talking on the phone. I guess that's what we did back then. I don't remember who called who, or what we'd even been talking about at first, but suddenly Jennifer said something to me that would change my life forever:
"So-and-so told me about this website called MySpace." She emphasized the second word, calling it "mySPACE."
She told me a little more about this website I'd never heard of. Intrigued, I visited MySpace and signed up. I discovered that a few other people from school had profiles, and was astounded to see pictures from the recent school dance displayed on people's profiles for anyone to see.
It was beyond my comprehension that someone could put pictures of me and my friends online without my knowledge. It was like this whole little world existed that I hadn't known about. Sure, I'd been lurking online for a few years at that point, mostly hanging out in the forums on the official Star Wars website. (My screen name there was, for some reason, Darth Gurshellewarn, or something like that.) People did not post pictures in the forums. This was entirely new territory for me, and I took to it with overzealous fervor.
One of the photos from my MySpace profile.
Fast forward twelve years.
It's hard to imagine what life would be like today without social media. It's even what I do at work: I manage many social media profiles a day, and when I get home in the evening, I get in my daily word count and then hop on over to my own social media profiles to post things there. I'm generally on social media about eight hours a day.
I've made so many friends online during the past twelve years. I love the opportunities that social media has given me. Without it, I never would have found my publisher, and I wouldn't have been able to meet some very dear author friends at writing conferences.
Despite this, I'm starting to miss the olden days.
I'm starting to miss them BAD.
I sit and try to remember what I did before the dawn of social media. I remember crocheting a lot, and I wrote stories in notebooks, and I scrapbooked my photographs in albums. Of course I had homework, too, which I don't miss at all--but I miss the simplicity of it. I miss the quiet evenings hanging out with my friends, watching movies and writing goofy stories that we'd pass back and forth. I miss a world that lived without daily outrage. I miss a world that was more civil, more polite. Part of me wishes that I could go back in time and revel in the silence.
Of course, I'm not going to ditch social media. I love you all too much! But I think it's time for me to step back a little bit and try to regain some of what I have lost.