Friday, 11 April 2014

The Long Road To My Online Life

Inspired by this post at the Keysmash Blog: MyFaceTwitTumJournal
So I was reading the latest post on Keysmash and my comment kinda ran away with me.  I had just had pain pills which make me chatty, so blame that.  But after reading through the comment I realised 1. It was really long, 2. It basically outlined my online evolution, 3. I haven't posted anything here for a while, and why not post this?  So here is my comment to the above Keysmash post in all it's chatty and roundabout glory:

"Different social media platforms definitely have different personalities.  And people use them for different things and people (I find) always prefer one over the other.  I was late to this whole connecting with people online thing.  Aside from email, I kinda felt like joining Facebook would make me vulnerable to the world. And, and... people could spy on me or track me or something. I dunno, I was young and suspicious.  I still am.  Suspicious, I mean.  How one person can see the world through rose tinted glasses and still be suspicious of EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE, I don't know, but I am.  And I digress...

Um... Where was I? Okay, right.  Facebook.  MySpace was never really a thing here (here being South Africa).  Not that I know of anyway. I kind of get the feeling that by the time we joined the internet bandwagon and people could like, have it in their home, MySpace was already dying a slow death and Facebook was the thing.  Like, I never even knew Facebook was ever not available publicly. And also, I went to University to study (shocking).  And I'm not being insulting at all.  I mean, the crowds at University terrified me, strange people terrified me, classmates terrified me, being social in any way terrified me.  This was not the same me who went to High school and started off with straight A's and slid down the slippery slope of boys and parties and drinking and boys and parties.  A thing happened. My brain melted or something and let's not talk about that.  So, come time to go to university I hoped and prayed everyday that no-one would talk to me and I could just be left alone to get my degree and maybe by the time that happened I could actually handle getting a job.  I digress again.

Point is, I wasn't socialising in real life so why would I want to socialise online?  The friends I wanted to keep and who wanted to keep me, I could keep in contact with via texting, and email and sometimes...even letters!  No need to put myself ONLINE and become vulnerable to internet monsters.

And then my best friend got married.  And she had moved provinces so we didn't get to see each other often, but I was a bridesmaid and there were a shit-ton of photos and she said "Well, why don't you just get Facebook?  I'm putting them all there anyway."  She was going to send me a disc with all the thousands of photos on (she did) but that would take a while, while the photos from her and others would go to Facebook almost immediately.  I tried to resist, I really did, but in the end, I gave in.

Wedding pics. Just me, unfortunately, coz I know I gave myself permission ;)

I bit the bullet.  I got a Facebook account, uploaded the photos I had taken, friended her and friended the maid of honour.  And then started the friend requests...  From some people I was happy to catch up with and from some I had hoped to forever forget about.  When my ex-(douchebag)boyfriend's sister wanted to friend me, I about hit the roof.  I mean she was nice enough.  But I never, ever want to know what is going on with him and that was too close a connection for me.  I feel a little bad for ignoring her request, but, you know, not THAT bad.

So I was on Facebook and then everyone started on about Twitter and I thought I had never in my life heard of a more ridiculous concept than Twitter and tweeting and wtf anyway?  And Twitter was worse than Facebook coz anyone could stalk you there and find out stuff about you and I was sure Twitter was an alias for Big-Brother-Is-Watching...  In the end, I got a twitter account because a radio station was running a competition that you could only enter via twitter.  I had an account but very little was going on there, and I very seldom checked in on Facebook. 

And then Twilight happened.  And I was late to that as well.  I saw the movie first coz Sis wanted to and I was like, what. the. hell.  An obsessive co-dependant relationship between an old man and a teenager and they "fall in can't-live-without-you love" like in 5 minutes?  No.  Just no.  And THEN Sis read the book.  In like 3 days.  And loved it.  And let me tell you, Sis doesn't read. At all.  She went through a stage of Danielle Steele, but even then it would be 6 months per book.  I tried to get her to read the first Harry Potter and it took her a year and she didn't even finish.  Sis. Doesn't. Read.  But she read Twilight in under a week?  I had to know... And the rest is history, as is the case with so many people.  And then came Breaking Dawn.  By the time I had read the first 3 books, Breaking Dawn hadn't come out yet so I had to wait.  Thrilling! And then the fade-to-black, and then the search on the internet, and then fanfiction, and then a search for Quileute mythology (I'm a historian, I had to) and then Osa Bella and then Twitarded and then I was kinda screwed.

Twitarded led me to one of my best friends, author Lori Otto, who I have blogged about many times here, and who I could only stalk and chat with via email or Twitter.  (Lucky for me, she didn't mind my stalking.) And twitter was easier. The funny thing is, that Lori far prefers Facebook.  I far prefer Twitter.  All of this led to blogs and Tumblr and now Pinterest and on and on and on.  And some Twitter friends have become Facebook friends and some Facebook friends I have met because of books we're reading, and it's like this never ending circle of online friendship.  Let's all hold hands and sing Kumbaya together *sigh*.

How did that get here...

It has all become intertwined and mixed up, but at the end of the day, each type of social media has a different personality that is better suited to certain types of activities, and is better suited to certain types of people.  I mostly browse and reblog on Tumblr (pretty pictures and porn), keep in touch with old and new friends on Facebook and chat everyday, every damn day, with online turned RL life friends on Twitter.  It's as natural as texting my family at this point.  I love my twitter friends and they have become a very important part of my life.

Each to her own.  And it works.

P.S. I wonder how many online lives were started because of Stephenie Meyer...?"


  1. I'm glad you posted this as a standalone post because it's totally worthy of that. <3 - Liz

    1. Thank you! I got a little carried away... ;)