I'm Glad I Grew Up Without Social Media

I'm Glad I Grew Up Without Social Media

​There's nothing millennials​ hate more than being criticized for being millennials​, so I promise that's not what's happening here.

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This article isn't going to end with a conclusion about how we should try to not use technology so much and need to take some time to smell the roses. I'm writing this on a computer and you're reading it online, I think it's a little late for us.

I was born in 1996. I could technically call myself a "90s kid" but since I was only 4 years old by the time the 90s were over, I'm not sure that counts. Either way, my childhood was filled with the trends and culture of the 90s and early 2000s. I didn't have an iPod, I had a boom box. I didn't have Netflix, I had Blockbuster Video. I didn't have Spotify, I had Kidz Bop and the 5th series of Now That's What I Call Music (which is now in its 95th series by the way).

When I was a kid and wanted to spend time with my friends, I had to find the courage to call their home phone, ask their parents if they were around, and then ask if they wanted to come over. Young teenagers today have so much social anxiety, partly because if they choose to, they never have to actually speak to anyone. They are safe behind their text messages and online shopping when speaking to people proves to be too difficult.

Just because I was raised without social media, doesn't mean I've managed to escape its appeal. The first thing I do in the morning is check my texts, then Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and my email. I haven't gone an entire day without using technology since I went to summer camp 8 years ago. Even though social media and technology in general are a major part of my daily routine, I feel lucky that I grew up during a time when they weren't.

In the future when I have kids, I have no intention of completely depriving them of technology and making them feel like outsiders amongst their friends. I'm just so glad that during my childhood there was no one around to post Snapchats of me in my pink gaucho pants and Limited Too t-shirts that were covered in unnecessary sparkles. The few photos I have from my awkward stages have been thoughtfully shoved in a box and placed on the highest shelf in my mom's closet.

Even though I'm an "adult" and should be over it by now, there is still so much pressure to cultivate a social media presence that shows off the most amazing parts of my life. I didn't feel this pressure as a kid because there was no app or website for me to look at and feel jealous of my friends or strangers. The only time I felt envious of my friends was when their parents let them watch PG13 movies while I was still stuck with G.

Kids today aren't inferior to those of us that grew up without Kylie Jenner's Snapchats or Donald Trump's relentless tweets, they're just going to have to work a little harder to discover what's actually important in life. Social media only becomes dangerous when people care more about creating an aesthetically pleasing profile than being a good person. Going forward, I doubt that I'll ever be completely removed from social media. Luckily, nostalgia can take me back to the days when I wore outfits that should've never seen the light of day, any time I want. No scrolling necessary.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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