This weekend I was poking around on Facebook and plowing through my Google Reader when BF walked behind me and said something along the lines of, “Are you seriously on there again? You are too involved with other people’s lives.”
I started to protest, and then I realized he was right. And then I began to shock myself a little bit. At any given time on any given day, I can check in to Facebook and see what any number of my friends are thinking or doing. I can see that my boss went to Orlando GreekFest this weekend and was uncomfortably full afterward from all the food he ate. I can see that my friend is flying cross-country to Boston, and can’t decide what to pack. I can see that a sorority sister I had minimal interaction with in college got married on Sunday, and that the first batch of her wedding pictures are up.
This in itself sort of creeps me out. And, it gets even worse. I know there’s a number of blogs that are built on this premise, but I know more about Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point, Kath at Kath Eats Real Food, Tina at Carrots ‘n’ Cake, Angela at Oh She Glows, Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers, Gina at The Fitnessista and Ree at The Pioneer Woman than I’d like to admit. And the creepiest part? I have never actually met any of these women. I feel so voyeuristic right now.
All told, I am intimately familiar with the lives of a lot of people, and I got to thinking … it never used to be this way. When I was younger, I had actual pen pals (as in written letters), and the phone was my primary method of communication with people outside of my family. I mostly met people through sports and school. All of this being said, I should point out that I first used the Internet in 5th grade, back in 1995. I know things change (especially with technology), but in 15 years, I’ve managed to increase my network exponentially. The very idea that I’m so knowledgeable on the lives of people I don’t even really know would shock 5th grade me.
I guess I’m sort of awed at how the Internet (because really, it was all due to the Internet) widened my circle of influence so dramatically. It used to be a circle mostly centered on Redmond, Washington. I knew few people outside of Western Washington, much less Washington state as a whole.
Today I am on conversational terms with hundreds of people across the country — even the globe. And, none of them think it’s weird that we are conversational, yet I’ve only met a small percentage of them.
I attribute most of this to being a “Millennial.” Although I sort of chafe at these generational titles, it’s no secret that my network is far different from that of my parents, and that I interact with it in a far different way. Not all Millennials are as involved as I am (example: BF), and I do realize that I was an early adopter. Hell, once I found the Internet, I found myself some bulletin boards and made friends in a few days (one of which I am still very close with — I’m actually attending her wedding this fall).
I guess it’s just a little crazy to me that I have this much access to the people I know (or “know,” if you want to get snarky), when 10-15 years ago, this was pretty much unheard of. And, it’s considered normal!
letter image from Pink Sherbet Photography
gen y image from darth87