When I take a moment to look at myself, my life, and how I portray my existence in the world of media space, I think of the process– the journey– of social media platforms. I remember back in 2006, I was living in the United States and I made my very first Myspace page. It was exciting, this page showed who I was in some way. It explored my interests and my ‘aesthetic’ so to speak. Then there were rumours going around my school, anyone who was under age and on Myspace was being found out by our deputy principle and he was reporting users to their parents and the police. I was terrified. I was underage and shouldn’t have had a profile portraying myself on the internet– what if someone tried to catfish me? Find me, my family, where we live? How would I be able to cope with being responsible for something like that?
My best friend didn’t have a Myspace, her father was a judge, and what if a criminal, someone who didn’t have a good experience with her father, was to find her on Myspace? Online was a scary place to be. Being a part of that internet space was dangerous. But now, it’s completely normalised. Anyone who isn’t on the internet is viewed as a dinosaur or maybe too indie to function. It blows my mind how quickly and vastly this space has grown, has changed. It’s used for advertising, meeting up with old friends, showing friends and family the things you’ve seen on your holiday, and so much more.
My life in this space has expanded. From my username on AIM and my Myspace page that doesn’t get used any more, I now have a Facebook account, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, WordPress. Each and every page that I have shows who I am in this space, how I communicate with others in this space and how I don’t.
I think it’s really great that we have a space in which we can be ourselves, or at least the version of ourselves that we want to portray. It’s a great way for introverts to extend an image of themselves without having to discuss awkwardly with old acquaintances. I might not be an introvert per say, but I’m bloody awkward. Being online means I can think carefully about what I say before I say it. I can make myself look 10x wittier than I really am. That’s the beauty of being in the online media space. Thank you for making me look cool social media. Or letting me be the cool person I already am? Who knows.