How is it possible that I have grown up smack dab within the ripe age of social media and I still get butterflies before my first post on a new platform?
As my first post, I wanted to give a bit of background on myself, the evolution of my social media journey, and how you and I are here at this very moment. I think it is important to know where I come from, because your background directly impacts your perspective of the world. Here is the story of the public part of me that learned and grew up in the digi-verse.
Assuming that my Neopets account doesn't count, in 2006, I created my very first social media account: a short-lived Xanga where I shared a few too many quotes and glitter gifs in much too small font. Yes, I had that tiny mouse. Within six months, I quickly moved to Myspace where I spent hours designing and running my personal page. This basically meant showcasing more quotes and photos, all while making sure my automated playlist perfectly reflected my angsty pre-teen personality. This was my first foray into the world of content creating and sharing. I was 12.
Within the year, I co-founded and ran one of those Myspace layout pages. You know, the ones that designed personalized layouts for other users? All throughout my middle school years, I pored hours and hours into art of experimenting with HTML code on Myspace layouts for our followers, practicing a primitive form graphic designing and photo-editing, and managing a few "Myspace models" for our account. Besides this informal self-training, I learned that using what resources you had *cough yahoo answers cough* and hours of hard work gave me this crazy superpower to take a vision in my mind and put it into the real world. I was hooked.
At the end of 2008, I reluctantly created a Facebook account on the side, completely unwillingly to leave behind a platform that allowed me to exercise my artistic and creative side. In 2009, I began to embrace my account because it was the magical year of sweet 16s. I grew up in the nice suburbs of South Jersey, so this year was a big deal. My ambitious side got it in my mind to create special 16th birthday videos for each of my best friends, telling the story of our friendship. I edited my first video at 13 for my baby sister, so I was two years a video veteran already. No big deal. Armed with my father's 2007 version of Roxio Creator Suite and a plug-in Spongebob USB microphone (I'm not kidding), I got to work filming, photographing, recording voice-overs and editing the videos. A convenient place where I was already connected with all of my friends and peers, Facebook didn't seem so bad a platform anymore.
In 2010, I eventually left Myspace for good (it was a painful process at the time) and created my first Tumblr blog to fill the void. One of my friends was always nagging me to make one to document all of my drawings (I was play designing tattoos at 14) and I joined just to see what all of the noise was about. Tumblr allowed me the creative freedom and platform to "reblog" and post any type of content or creations that my high school heart desired. While I was still using my HTML knowledge to tweak my own theme, the options were endless which allowed me to grow and mature on the platform. My blog naturally evolved into a personal text-based blog, where I blogged about my personal life, published short prose and poetry pieces, and shared art that I enjoyed.
The story gets less exciting here because the world of social media had become a part of daily life for most of my peers by then. I published my first Youtube video in 2012, although I had been regularly consuming and following video content creators since 2007. I finally joined the whirlwind romance that is Instagram in 2013, and very awkwardly climbed onto the Twitter train the same year. I joined Snapchat in 2014. Today, I am still active on Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, and Facebook, but still felt like I was missing something. To anyone that did not grow up in this age, that probably sounds insane. But throughout the years, each platform has taught me its specific purpose and power in the digital world, and I was looking for a place for all of that content to live and represent me fully.
So here we are.
On my small piece of the interwebs, that I can fully call my own.
On this website, you can expect less of the polished social media content (I never quite learned how to be so prim and prepped) and more transparency and vulnerability through this thing we call creating and creativity. I deeply believe that to create is to expose yourself to the world over and over again. And there's nothing as important.