Reflections Of A 21-Year-Old First-Time Facebook User
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Reflections Of A 21-Year-Old First-Time Facebook User

I waited until my senior year of college to create a Facebook.

Reflections Of A 21-Year-Old First-Time Facebook User

Holding out on Facebook until a couple of weeks ago did a number of things for me – some were good and some weren’t so good. Overall, however, I am glad that I waited, but I’m also glad that I finally have one at this point in my life. Here’s why.

So, in order to put my decisions into context, I will start with a little background. Facebook took off pretty much right when I got into high school. Around this time, it seemed like every single person I knew made an account overnight. I, however, did not. Admittedly, I was a very strange character in high school; I took it upon myself to spend those four years of my life being a self-righteous hipster.

The reason for this was twofold: First, a lot of the people I surrounded myself with were this way (you know, the kinds ofpeople who thought Apple products and mainstream pop music were only for plebeians) and so it kind of just rubbed off on me. And second, I knew I would never fit the mold of the typical popular kid, so I thought the logical thing to do was to embrace every opportunity presented to me to rebel against anything popular… High school, everyone.

Anyway, fast-forward to my high school graduation. I still did not have a Facebook, and at that point, I kind of just thought, why bother? Since college is all about having a fresh start, I was kind of excited to know that every single tie I had to high school was severed. I knew that any true friends I made from that day forward wouldn’t need me to be on Facebook in order to know what I was up to and to keep in touch with me.

And, honestly, it gave me an extremely deep sense of satisfaction to know that everyone else wouldn’t hear from me again, and that any residual memory that they kept of me would be a version of me that doesn’t even exist anymore. This meant that I really could just focus on college and allow college to change me without any inhibitions. So, for this reason, I went through pretty much all of college meeting new people and making new friends, but still not having a Facebook.

When I made a Facebook a couple of weeks ago, my reasoning was simple. I started writing for Odyssey, and I knew that I had to share each of my articles on Facebook because this is part of the job description for Odyssey writers. When I created the account, I was surprised by a number of things. Firstly, and on a lighter note, I honestly cannot believe how difficult it was to learn how to navigate the site. I don’t know why, but the whole way that it operates really confuses me!

I still don’t understand why my friends can see some random things that I like but not see others. Also, why is it that I have the option to approve pictures and things that I am tagged in before they appear on my timeline, but if someone wants to write a post directly on my wall, they can just go right on ahead and do it?! It makes no sense to me. But, hey, maybe I’m just missing something in the privacy settings.

Anyway, this experience overall has made me realize that I can no longer get aggravated when the technologically challenged adults in my life ask me for help with simple Internet problems. I feel their pain now. But, beyond this, I have also realized that there were a lot of other things that I was missing out on.

Things as simple as liking the pages of TV shows I watch has made my life easier. Because these pages post reminders for new episodes, I no longer have to rely on myself to remember when they air in the midst of my busy schedule. I also realized that there were a lot of people from high school whom I honestly didn’t mind reconnecting with. And overall, just having the option to scroll through posts and funny videos when I’m bored is kind of nice.

However, while I can appreciate these things now as an older and wiser (pseudo) adult, my unique perspective has definitely reinforced my opinion that not making a Facebook in high school was a good decision. First of all, there are a number of people who I have no desire to connect with. This isn’t due to grudges or anything like that, but I just find that not everyone needs to know where I am at this point in life because we are so many years removed from each other.

I really think that if I had a Facebook from high school until now, I would have a lot more Facebook friends from high school, and that just doesn’t sit well with me. I really look at high school as a time that I love to keep as far in the past as possible, and I feel glad that I avoided the stress of having those strings still attached.

Further, I have found that I am not addicted to Facebook at all because I made one so late. When I first made my profile, a number of my friends said things to me like, “Just wait – after a few days, you’ll be so addicted and you’ll constantly be on there.” I think high school Sarah probably would have been like that. I feel like, in high school, our worlds are so small and limited that we have nothing better to do than care about what everyone is up to.

However, today I do not find this to be the case at all. I enjoy going on Facebook, but I definitely don’t feel like I need to see every single post, and I honestly don’t really care what other people are doing because I have more important things to be worrying about. If I see what my friends are up to when that I’m online, then that’s great. However, I don’t actively seek out what they’re doing at all. In fact, I find myself dismissively scrolling past most people’s personal posts and pausing more on funny shared dog videos, to be honest.

A final reason that I am glad that I waited to make a Facebook is because I have developed a great appreciation for my sense of privacy. Ever since I graduated high school without a Facebook, I have decided that being private allows me to focus more on who I am instead of focusing on what people think of me. Because of this, I still maintain my privacy despite being on Facebook. I mostly just share funny videos, but even if I do post some things, I get to be choosy about who sees them thanks to Facebook’s awesome privacy settings.

Overall, I think making a Facebook at 21 years old helped me focus more on becoming who I want to be; but I am glad that I am in a place now where I can appreciate the site without caring too much about my social media presence. And hey, at the very least, now I can proudly say that I am social media competent. I’m fairly positive that as a millennial, it’s pretty much a requirement that I need to know how to use Facebook in order to get any decent job. I’m just glad that, at the end of the day, I am still able to maintain the mentality of a very private Victorian woman despite finally joining my peers in the 21st century!

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