Social media is a new concept. The first social media to take off was MySpace, and it hasn’t quite stuck around. Now, they’ve repurposed it to be a space for up and coming bands. Or, something like that. The point is, any teenager who used MySpace during its heyday probably has forgot about their account or has left it.
You were good to us, MySpace
But new forms of social media have come, and do not appear to be leaving any time soon. Facebook has been around since 2004, and has shown consistent growth as it becomes a tech giant. Twitter and Instagram also show signs of permanency as both grow in size. With MySpace, teenagers likely didn’t worry about what would happen to it, because their parents did not have a MySpace of their own. But now anyone with any technological skill knows of Facebook, and hundreds of millions use it. Unless Facebook makes some terrible decisions and a new competitor emerges, your Facebook account isn’t going anywhere.
Facebook, and the access to contact anyone you’ve ever met at a moment’s notice, has changed how people communicate with people from their past, and provided a new outlet to meet new people.. Just 50 years ago, the only way to communicate with your friends from afar was snail mail, or perhaps a pricey phone call. But now, it is free to video chat with friends, and it remains easier to keep in touch with friends who live far and have gone their separate ways. Facebook keeps you in touch with all these friends, and you are reminded of who they are every time their name pops up on your timeline. It makes good discussion, sometimes, to talk about mutual friends, and look at old photos on their timeline.
Anyone with social media is faced with a question. If you will have your social media for your whole life, will you keep using it with the frequency you might use it now? Will you use it more? And as you live your life and your friends and followers pile up, who will you keep in touch with? One thing that’s for sure is that social media makes it hard to avoid people you want to avoid, unless you decide to block them. And that says something that would otherwise not be said. If social media is totally permanent, then the people that you could not care for from high school will still be added. The question then is, when is it time to delete these people, if ever?
Interesting to note is that Facebook has an option to turn someone’s Facebook page into a memorial when they pass away. Will you have a Facebook that long? It certainly seems like Facebook is preparing for it.
My point is here, is that you should figure out what your plan is with your social media. Will you delete it and restart when high school ends? College? Ever? Is it a good idea to share memes, when your grandmother is one of your friends? Considering social media may be a permanent fixture in Generation Y’s lives, it may be a good idea to sit down and think about your social media usage.