Social media … What arguably started in 2002 as a networking website linking people with common bonds, similar to dating websites, through a website named Friendster has since given rise to a new dimension of human interactions, such as MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook and now applications you can download through a smartphone such as Snapchat and Tinder. Each platform was created for its own purpose. However, every media application is revolutionarily striving to making our friends, family, information — everything — more available than the update before. Let’s see how these two Highlander senior staff writers — Myles Andrews-Duve and Betteena Marco— let social media affect their lives as well as what is perhaps not overtly realized.
- Favorite social media platform as of right now?
- Myles: Twitter
- Betteena: Snapchat!
2. Do you post on there every single day? Hour? Minute?
- Myles: Not every day. Lately the more I’m tweeting, the more I’m just trying to procrastinate.
- Betteena: I post on my story rather frequently actually. I basically document my daily life on Snapchat.
3. Is there anywhere on social media that you feel comfortable sharing personal details about yourself through?
- Myles: Nah. I know it sounds no fun but I’ve never really been interested in that. I think this has also been solidified by me really wanting to ensure I have a career and being overly cautious about what my online profile looks like. They lurk. While I am more open with thoughts on Twitter I do stay close to the vest and still use it to connect with other writers and communities. I mainly use Facebook for promotional purposes and reaching out to contacts.
- Betteena: I think as the years have passed I’ve become less and less open on social media. Though I share aspects of my daily life on Snapchat, they’re hardly meaningful and don’t really reveal any gritty details about me. Sometimes I’ll share something really personal about myself or my family on Instagram or Facebook, but those are usually positive things. I’m not a fan of sharing personal tragedies on social media.
4. Have you ever developed self-esteem issues because of a certain social media app or website?
- Myles: If I get zero likes on a fire tweet, I’m broken. But in seriousness, I think anyone who has used social media would be lying to say no to this. It doesn’t ever happen for me now, but early on, when Facebook was the wave, it was totally a not-so-subtle competition amongst my peers (who has the most friends, likes, comments, etc.). That still exists in many circles; I’m just personally not involved in it.
- Betteena: I definitely get a self-esteem boost when people like my posts, but I never take it too hard if nobody does. It’s not something I usually notice. I don’t have that strong of a social media presence anyhow, and I know that the people I’m interacting with are my friends so I never feel like I have to impress or compete with anyone.
5. You just met a super hot person and they told you they added you as a friend on Facebook: What is the first aspect on your profile that you currently have now that you would want them to see?
- Myles: Hot like cute? And if so, people still say hot? First aspect of my profile I’d want a “super hot person,” or anyone, to see is probably what’s already there. “Be yourself” is what they tell the kids nowadays right? People rarely truly are on these things but at least be as much of you as you can be. (But still, yeah that profile pic should at least be halfway decent … just not misleading).
- Betteena: Facebook has this nifty feature where they display the phonetic spelling of your name on your profile. I’d like them to see that first.
6. How often do you go back and delete old photos on Facebook?
- Myles: Mmm, only ones I delete are those that people may tag me in that I don’t want on my profile. So I’ll remove my tag. Usually for the sake of not really being interested in sharing that much about personal life.
- Betteena: I’ve never actually deleted any photos from Facebook, just made some albums private or untagged myself in unflattering photos. I’m a bit of a sentimental hoarder and I’ve had my Facebook for eight years now (wow!) so there are a lot of photos and memories that I want to save (especially since I’m too lazy to transfer them onto my computer).
7. Do you have an Instagram? Is it private or public and why?
- Myles: I did for two days. But I don’t.
- Betteena: I do! At first it used to be public because I was in high school and greedy for followers. But my following never extended beyond people I actually knew, so I eventually made it private. Not that I’m afraid of people lurking on my profile, but I’m just really embarrassed about strangers seeing how I used to be. I’m not the type to delete photos or maintain a pretty feed. At this point my Instagram is a medium for me to document my experiences, so it’s really personal.
8. Would you ever make a Finsta and why?
- Myles: I think those can definitely be useful, but no, not personally. It would be fun to have an alter ego with no trace to my actual identity though.
- Betteena: My main Insta is my Finsta. But no seriously, I would if I were trying to be one of those Instagram bloggers. I would feel really awkward though if somebody that knew me in real life found this heavily edited and curated version of my life. Like why are you trying so hard?
9. Do people ever say you look different (physically) in real life than online?
- Myles: Apparently, I’m even uglier.
- Betteena: I’m constantly told that I look much better in photos than I do in real life, which is fantastic for my self-esteem because I hate photos of myself 90 percent of the time.
10. Creepy catfish stories?
- Myles: A true catfish never reveals their identity.
- Betteena: I’ve never been catfished nor have I ever catfished anyone. Stranger danger!
11. Favorite photo of you from any of your social media apps?
- Myles: Whichever is my current profile picture probably. Don’t take many.
- Betteena: Somewhere deep in my Instagram feed is a photo of me and my mom on the day I became an American citizen. It was a significant life event, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to document and share it.
12. For the most part, do you think your friends are too concerned about what they post, how often they post and how they appear on social media?
- Myles: I mean, “too much” is relative. To me, when I see friends do like 30 takes of the same Snapchat video in my car it’s pretty laughable. But I mean I get it. It’s all in good fun. Where it becomes troubling and seemingly too much is when the desire to look good devolves into a frustrated obsession, which I have also witnessed. Like, it’s normal to want to look good for others but when that’s fueled by competition or other external factors, that’s when it’s a legitimate issue in my opinion.
- Betteena: Yeah, I have some friends who are super controlling of their social media image. They refrain from posting or sharing certain things because they don’t want to seem a certain way. I also know some people who post their photos during particular times in order to maximize the number of likes they get or edit their photos painstakingly so that everything fits a theme. I am concerned to an extent, but it doesn’t take up that much of my thoughts and time.
13. You’re having a really bad day, however that may look like: Receiving a disappointing test score, arguing with a significant other, being stressed about work, etc. During times like these, are you more inclined to run to social media as a coping mechanism or to avoid it? What is your social media behavior like during periods of personal difficulties?
- Myles: I guess I do go on Twitter more often when I’m having a rough time. And I guess that is actually a subconscious method of escaping. Shit. Is this like counseling or something? It’s working. Just like how Twitter works when I’m having a bad day. I don’t follow many friends (until they find me) but I follow a lot of my favorite writers, personalities and news outlets so it’s good really for just reading and seeing funny shit.
- Betteena: It really depends. I feel like I avoid Instagram and Snapchat when I’m having a bad day, since I know seeing other people’s awesome lives would just sour my mood even more. But I like browsing on Facebook because my feed is flooded with hilarious memes that make me laugh. I think social media is a bit of a double-edged sword, and how it affects your life depends on how you utilize and perceive it.
14. How often do you add friends on Facebook? Do other people usually add you first?
- Myles: On occasion. Though usually it has been people (lately, old friends) adding me since I don’t go on Facebook often unless for business or promotional reasons.
- Betteena: I add people as I meet them, so not that frequently. Before I used to wait for people to add me, but now I think that’s silly. People add me first more often because I don’t usually look people up, but I don’t mind sending the friend request first nowadays if they pop up on my feed or are mentioned by a mutual friend.
15. What is usually the reason for you checking your social media(s): Boredom? Rewarding yourself for being productive? Contacting people? Maintaining a certain image?
- Myles: Hm. All of the above if sharing my and other’s work qualifies as keeping up with an image.
- Betteena: I usually check out of boredom and post to make it seem like I actually go out and do stuff with my life.
16. Has social media ever played a negative role in a relationship you have had?
- Myles: Specifically, romantic? No, actually. In my last significant relationship we both weren’t very open to posting about each other on socials like that so it was a dope look.
- Betteena: Nope, my experiences with social media have been mostly positive. If anything, social media has helped me maintain some long distance friendships since I’m not very diligent with contacting people directly.