Letter to my 12-year-old self
July 30, 2008.
Hey Tia, how are ya? It’s me, Tia.
So, I hear you just joined Facebook. And by “I hear” I mean I just scrolled to the end of our timeline and found the day you made your account. But still.
Now non-college students have only been able to sign up for Facebook since 2006, and the site has only existed at all since 2004 so I can’t blame you for not knowing how to use it effectively. Nobody does. But that’s not gonna stop me from giving you some unsolicited advice.
- The online world you’re currently living in puts a lot of emphasis on statuses. It’s normal and expected that you will change your status minimum once a day, if not more. But let me tell you that will not always be the case, and you have no idea the headache you’ve cost me in trying to delete every “iz bored.” “‘s arm hurts” “iz bored” statuses. Please. Stop. If I’m being honest, nobody cares (and if you’re being honest, you know it’s true). I’m not saying nobody cares about you, I’m just saying there is literally no point in those statuses.
- Notes. Oh dear lord almighty, notes. Please just… no. Spilling your guts out in such an open way on a social media platform is not the best plan. Sure, share your thoughts and express yourself but please for the love of Harry Potter do not post notes. Specifically “tags” where you copy & paste then replace with your own answers. Juuuust stop.
Alright, let’s get serious now. You are growing up as social media develops, and that is hard. But you need to think critically. Yes, I know your brain isn’t fully formed yet and that makes you more impulsive. But do what the PSAs tell you to do: Think before you click.
Social media is so powerful, and it’s going to take you years to figure that out. But try to think about it logically. Where can you imagine this going? Do you see yourself adding former teachers once you graduate? How about distant family members? No?
Okay, then how about future jobs? You want to be an actor in the future (spoiler alert: that dream is gonna change) so think of Facebook like a resumé. Would you want a casting director to see your facebook profile as it currently stands? Is it a good reflection of the self that you want to present to the world?
See, social media isn’t a diary, which I think is where you are currently misunderstanding it. Yes, it’s a place to be a bit more vulnerable than you would face-to-face, but it is still public. It’s a place to put your best foot forward and connect with people that you may not be able to connect to otherwise. So treat it as an extension of yourself — your public self.
Is that helpful? Oh, were you not listening? That’s pretty rude. But I guess it would mess up the spacetime continuum if you listened to me.