Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, even Instagram now. I’m way too attached to my social media these days. Facebook was my first, and I was late to that party. But when I look back, I’m grateful that I was nearly 30 before I figured out what social media was.
1. My parents would have worried about me more when I spent a college semester in England. I traveled around Great Britain and Europe while they waited for weekly e-mails home. I can only imagine what my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts would have looked like. (Nothing too terrible. But there was that time I took the Tube out of London to Wimbledon by myself. I lived to tell about it.)
2. I would not have survived seven years as a journalist. I was reminded this week that social media is unforgiving and snarky with reporters and news organizations. I was thinking in particular of one very terrible mistake I made in print and how much time I spent fielding phone calls to correct it. (Also, it was the most embarrassing correction I ever had to write.) If social media had been part of the picture, I probably would have changed my name and hairstyle and entered the witness protection program.
3. Two words: wedding planning. I see you on Pinterest, high school and college girls, pinning wedding ideas. “For the future,” you say. “Someday,” you say. And if any guy you were interested in was on Pinterest (but seriously, there aren’t that many guys on Pinterest are there?) he’d probably head for the hills. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it. I just know that when Phil and I started dating, wedding bells were already ringing in my head. Fortunately, he knew that early on, and his intentions were in that direction. But my Pinterest board as a single gal in my 20s would have been Scary.
4. Two more words: baby ideas. I already felt inadequate as a mother, and Pinterest would have led to a slow death on the inside. We’ve never had a themed nursery, and I don’t even want to talk about the boxes of pictures and keepsakes and baby books that are stuffed in a closet until “I have time to be sentimental.” I held out on Pinterest for a long time. I feel more emotionally stable and mature enough to handle it now. (Our son turns four in a few weeks. Guaranteed, I’ll be searching Pinterest for birthday cake ideas a week before.)
5. I like my memories of my 20s. Facebook might have ruined that. Some of my happiest memories are of this group of friends I found in my hometown (one of them would become my husband.) And instead of sharing with the rest of the world all the fun we had, all the trips we took, all the witty things said at 2 a.m., those memories are contained individually in our memories and in a few pictures. And sometimes when we’re together, we piece those memories back together and have a nostalgia moment. Sometimes I feel like I let Facebook and Twitter and Instagram into too many of the special moments, moments that before social media would have been the stories told at family gatherings. Almost none of my best stories start with the words, “You remember that time I posted that thing on Facebook …”
So, there it is. Now, I’m officially old for making this list.