“Ms. Napper, do you have a Snapchat?”
There were about five minutes at the very beginning of my career when I was cool, because I used Facebook. Then I blinked, the kids had moved on to the next shiny object, and I began my descent into dinosaur status. I guess we all know that we’ll become out-of-date relics eventually, but who knew it would happen so fast?
The evolution of social media mystifies me though. I was along for the ride as we went through the phases of AIM chats/profiles/away messages, LiveJournals, Xanga, MySpace, etc, until we all landed on Facebook. After that, it stopped making sense.
Remember the old days (or, at least, the movies about the old days), when grocery shopping meant a list of visits to the butcher, the produce guy, the baker, and the milkman came to you? Then grocery stores became a thing, and now we can get everything at Safeway. We consolidated, simplifying our lives, so now we can get all the things in one place.
Or remember when we used calculators, maps, cameras, dictionaries, flashlights, notepads, music players of some sort… And then smart phones entered our lives. Consolidation. All the things in one place.
So why is social media going in the opposite direction? Facebook gave us all the things in one place, but ever since, we’ve been fragmenting.
Instagram lets you share photos… Or I can put photos on Facebook.
Twitter lets you share messages in 140 characters or less… Or I can share messages of any length I want on Facebook.
Vine lets you share videos of 6 seconds or less… Or I can share videos of any length on Facebook.
Snapchat, Kik, and whatever other messaging apps are out there… Not only does my phone already have text messaging, but Facebook has a messenger too!
Now, the question we should be asking ourselves–why isn’t Mark Zuckerberg paying me to write this?? (Hey, Zucks, contact me, and I’ll hook you up with my PayPal….)
It sounds so crazy when you hear people in the public eye promoting themselves, and they rattle off this long list of usernames on all these different platforms. Why? Why is that necessary? Who can keep up with that?
As it is, Facebook sucks up an unhealthy amount of my time and attention. Also, I’ve been terrible about checking my personal email ever since Facebook became a thing. I can’t imagine how I’d manage my time if I were juggling half a dozen more social media apps, all of which I’d surely think needed to be checked every three minutes.
So, sorry-not-sorry, but my social media status piqued in 2005, when I was an elitist, college-student-only user of TheFacebook. The kids can shake their heads in disappointment at me, but it’s cool. I can always shake my fist and tell them to get off my lawn.