Social media is supposed to be a means through which our generation can expose themselves in the goriest of ways… witty tweets, classic muploads, and, dare I say, nude snapchats from 8th graders. We have been learning the ropes since we were in middle school, toying around with MySpace until it became borderline “catfish.” When I was in 6th grade, I managed to hide my MySpace account from my mom and her head full of secrets (similarly to Gretchen Weiners’, a reference I have 100% definitely made before). Eventually, she found out, just like how she also eventually found out about my video-chat relationship with my home friend’s camp friend’s home friend which she claimed was wildly inappropriate because this strange boy (who had the high-pitched voice of a 13-year-old Jewish kid with no armpit hair yet) could totally be a stalker and should not have the privilege or ability to see the inside of my house via Macbook. In hindsight, I wish that my parents restricted my use of social media at such a young age because I did a lot of things that I wish I didn’t.
Here is the breakdown of the most embarrassing things I have ever put on the internet.
- Tweeting at @JewBoyProblems and not being replied, favorited, or retweeted. Everyone knows that there are rules to posting things on all social media outlets and applications… only post if you know your post is going to get legit positive feedback. Everyone is so hyper-aware of what they put out there and how others will receive it. The first time I tweeted at @JewBoyProblems, I was at a Maccabeats concert so I was pretty confident I would get that retweet. It turned out that I did, and I had my 15 minutes of JAP fame in the tri-state area. We formed a pretty good Twitter relationship, @JewBoyProblems and I, over the next few months. Then one time I tweeted at him for #TextsFromMomTuesday and got zero response. I was embarrassed and depressed. Boo hoo.
- (so-called) Illegally campaigning for class elections on Facebook. When I was a freshman, I ran for my first term as Class President. So, obv, I made a “Vote for Hannah” Facebook group to get as many people in the grade to like it as possible because it made me feel like such a true politician with a hearty campaign backing. I was told that I couldn’t give out merchandise to advertise, but I figured that Facebook wasn’t merch because we are all very obsessed and involved in it. My opponent took my Facebook group very personally and offensively, so he inboxed me and demanded I delete it, or he would report me and disqualify me. I won, but I guess cheaters always do.
- Making Facebook photo album titles song lyrics, and other ways to super self-consciously name an album. I feel like I don’t even need to expand upon this one. Some of the personal faves I have regarding my own albums have been “Recently,” named after the Dave Matthews Band song (so alternative for an 8th grader, like OMG), and “Just Waiting ‘Til the Shine Wears Off,” a lyric taken from the song “Lost!” by Coldplay. It took me and my friend a solid hour to come up with that one. We also cannot ignore the phase everyone went through where album titles had to be capitalized. Capitalization or death.
- When I would take photo shoots with my friends, and then name those albums with song lyrics. “Just Waiting ‘Til the Shine Wears Off” was an album consisting of “pretty” pictures taken of me by my friend and of my friend by me alternately. We used my mom’s Nikon… that was before the days when I convinced my grandma to buy me a Nikon SLR of my own so I could have photoshoots whenever I wanted. Woah… the possibilites were totally endless….. (!!!)
- I did not look pretty in my promposal mupload. This is a very touchy subject. I am not happy that my hair was gross in a ballerina bun, I am not happy that I was wearing an oversized flannel and leggings in the middle of June, and I am not happy that it was taken from an extremely awk position. I am also not happy it was taken during my eat-my-feelings phase.
- When it looked like I was naked on Facebook but I wasn’t. Twice.
- When I decided to get a Tinder. This is a long story. But as a wannabe social media connoisseur, I heard about Tinder on Twitter, and I really didn’t know what it was, so I just had to download it to figure it out. As soon as it finished loading after 135546 million hours, I signed myself up and got all ready with my username and Facebook info and whatever else Tinder requires. Then, after about 6 minutes of flipping through pictures of boys that I def knew by Jewish geography, I realized what I had gotten myself into. When I realized what I had gotten myself, into, I tried to delete my account (for those of you that don’t know, Tinder is basically a match.com-esque app). When I tried to delete my account, the app told me there was an error and I could not. When I could not delete my account, I got a very angry and confused text from my then-boyfriend, who had received a confused text himself containing a screenshot of my Tinder profile from his friend, that made me laugh so hard I cried. Of course, this would only happen to me.
This post gave me serious anxiety. I need an iced green tea and a large fro-yo, stat.
I am not a middle aged person. I am not even a quarter life person yet. But because my mother kvetches more than a solid combination of Mrs. George/Amy Poehler circa Mean Girls and Jamie Lee Curtis, your go-to know-it-all on probiotic Activia yogurt, circa Freaky Friday, I feel as though in my adolescence I’ve grown to appreciate the taunt of a PMSing mother, the rage ensued after I use the emergency credit card to pay for a shirt on sale at Urban Outfitters, and the relief I feel when Mom has moved from her office–the kitchen table–to the stove with a spatula in one hand and a loaf of organic tofu in the other.
I remember when my mom decided to get a Facebook, which, might I add, happened before I created mine. For her first few weeks, she sat in the same chair at the dining room table, eyes glued to the screen until a small red notification would blink as a beacon of light in the corner of her screen. My mom grew up as an acquaintance of Constantine Maroulis, the Jesus-looking quasi-famous contestant from season four of American Idol, also from the original Broadway cast of Rock of Ages. Mom wrote and then proceeded to sing a short song about his acceptance of her friend request, because obviously.
Today, my mom has stepped slightly away from Facebook and indulged herself in the digital realm of Words With Friends and Family Feud, all fueled by her acquisition of an iPad one or two years ago. Although my mom makes it seem like the internet world is a heaven on earth, I feel like Facebook would be pretty startling and stressful to be introduced to as an adult.
Here are what I consider to be the pros and cons of Facebook as a middle aged person:
Pro: My mom’s high school sweetheart can now more readily stalk her.
Con: My mom’s high school sweetheart can now more readily stalk her.
Pro: It is much more easier to defriend your annoying PTA co-pres over Facebook than it would be to actually do so in real life.
Con: You sometimes have to reinstill those friendships you didn’t necessarily still want to keep.
Pro: No one actually knows how to use technology at this level, so all bitchy moves (friend deletion, denial of friend requests, tagging of fugly photos, etc.) are excused by “I don’t remember doing that at all! I must have pressed a wrong button!”
Con: No excuses anymore, because now you have to basically say happy birthday to every person that ever existed ever.
Pro: The opportunity to make everyone who hasn’t seen you recently believe you look a lot younger/better than you actually do.
Pro: My dad muploads more than I do. Actually, that might be a con.
Con: It’s another way to see those things you don’t want to see on your kid’s timeline.
Example: Once, I baked a cake with my cousin. When we took it out of the pan, we discovered that it was a very moist cake. I proceeded to say, “Wow, it’s really moist down there!” which my cousin then set as my Facebook status. My grandma saw my status and called my aunt who called my mom who yelled at me for making an inappropriate Facebook status. This also reminds me of the time I shaved by legs in fourth grade and somehow my uncle found out which made me cry for a solid three hours, but that’s a story for another time.
Pro: It’s like a more fun version of LinkedIn.
Pro: It’s an excuse for you to talk even more than you already do, cough cough Jewish mothers everywhere, cough cough my mom who writes at least 300 words per status comment.
Case in point: here is my mom’s most recent Facebook status. Note that every comment is liked… by my mom.
Social media for our aging parents who try to keep themselves young with things like Lulu Lemon stretch pants, fro-yo, and a ridiculous amount of gossip about none other than their children can be a very scary thing. Let me repeat myself: a very, very scary thing.