Ah, middle school. I recall my super curly, super frizzy hair that was never able to stay in place like that pretty nice girl with swish-y, shiny hair and my awkward turtle necks well into the late 2000’s (I was obviously very in-fashion, very vogue). School wasn’t the happiest of places, to tell you the truth. Being the shy girl with approximately 3 friends, a learning disability and an, at the time, not diagnosed anxiety disorder- school was a nightmare. But Facebook came along and thus came my introduction to social media.
Dana was her name, one of my 3 friends mentioned above (also in my opinion the coolest of us all). It was sleepover night after watching and being scarred by the very classy horror movie ‘Hostel’ and playing with a homemade Ouija board Dana wanted to show us something really cool. “I promise guys, my brother uses this website all the time…you can talk to everyone from school.”
So Dana took pity on us little people and helped us setup our own Facebook. At the time that was when you had to be in University in order to have an account so 12 year old Bronte was now Bronte, a Carlton U student studying Journalism.
Now I’m going to skip ahead a few extremely embarrassing years that included Livejournals about my favourite band at the time, My Chemical Romance. To another equally embarrassing but much more important time in my life when I had a whole Tumblr blog dedicated to the hit show, Supernatural.
Now when I was a wee child (teen) I thought Supernatural was the most important thing to ever exist, and I expressed that glee or sometimes sorrow that the show produced through my various social media accounts. Social Media through the show Supernatural was an odd thing. I saw many things I probably shouldn’t have and said many things that I once again probably shouldn’t have but I was also introduced to some of the best people I’ve ever known that helped me become a happier, more extroverted, more adventurous person.
Being able to communicate on my terms, with people who shared similar interests, people who also struggled with mental health issues- was eyeopening. It changed the way I viewed social interactions, it changed the way I viewed the world. I grew up.
I grew up with these people online, people from France, people from California, people from England, people from every single corner of the world, people with every possible background.
Now jump ahead to 2013, Supernatural was out and Teen Wolf (I know I am super cool) was in but the same group of friends remained. And in November 2013 I flew for the very first time from Ottawa, Ontario to Los Angeles, California and finally came face to face with the people who helped me grow.
Now I know not everyone will agree that it was okay for a fresh 20 year old to fly to another country for the first time. But my parents got it, they understood, they knew that these were the people who were there for me, they understood that social media is a viable place to meet new, good, interesting people. And I am forever grateful for that.
Now I must ask you, what was your very first memorable interaction with social media? I had social media here and there as kid but Facebook was the gateway.