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Social Networking Part I – By @LaskarisPhillip

By Phillip Laskaris

 

Social Networking Part I

 

Social media, as a whole, is an unstoppable force that influences everything from what I’ll do today to how a nation responds to an act of terrorism. It’s impossible to escape it. Social media is a constant. 

However, which of those networks is the most important to me has evolved over time. For each stage of my life a different social media has risen to the top and staked its claim as the number one network. In my early years it was all about being cool. Social status. Simple as that. However, as I’ve grown older, twitter and LinkedIn are taking control. It’s not about being cool, but about getting a job? Really? It’s influencing my career now?

Let’s start at the beginning. Quick note: This is my beginning and the networks I interacted with. I understand some of you may have had different experiences. I don’t care. 

The first social media craze was AIM. Also, the first instant messenger I can remember.

AIM must have been in the early middle school days (ages 10-12). It was social suicide to not have an AIM. How else was one to figure out what the math homework was, did Shane Thomas really have a crush on Sadi Kuperman (it was me), and did you know that Henry Weisburg’s older brother smokes weed?? After avoiding my mom’s questions of how school was today, I would go upstairs, fire up the shared computer and hop on AIM for a bit before I had to give up the computer to my sister.

Life was good. I had some great convos going. Then over the course of a week I noticed my chats dwindling. Nate isn’t online? Abe hasn’t been online for three days? Zak? Zak?! ZAK?!? AIM was a desert. People just stopped logging on. I was dumbfounded, where could they all be going? 

Enter Facebook. The early days. A profile picture, a status, and direct messaging. That’s all it was back then. It was so innocent.

All my friends had switched over to Facebook. I was late. For two years I was out on Facebook. I loved AIM, I was confused as to why we had to switch. I didn’t get the importance of a profile picture, likes, and comments. Also, I was reaching the age where I needed more privacy from my mother and the computer being in the living room for all to see was a deterrent.

Facebook had a massive impact on the artsy kids in school. They all had DSLR cameras and anyone who had one became a crucial member of any outing. Everyone knew that a DSLR camera is how you get a beautiful profile picture. Guaranteed to get you at least 25 likes. 

Eventually I got my own laptop. I held out on Facebook until my friends made it for me. It was terrific. For about 30 minutes I was the talk of the town. I was getting messages from kids I rarely spoke to! “YOOO, this can’t be Phil Laskaris on facebook?!?!?” Even some girls messaged me, and it wasn’t just to ask what the homework was. I was hooked immediately. AIM was a distant memory and now all I cared about was how many likes my last status got and if Liz Curtis, Charlotte Werner, or Jane Tewksbury liked it. 

 

This will end part I of my social media interaction history. Stay tuned for part II.

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