But you wanna know what I'm really thankful for? Like, really super thankful?
I'm thankful that social media wasn't around when I was young and doing embarrassing things.
I mean ... I suppose I share some pretty embarrassing stuff here on the blog. Like this. Or this. Or - ohmygawd - this. But the thing is, those are incidents I willingly and selectively share. After the fact, with the valuable benefit of hindsight.
It seems like almost every day my Facebook friends list or Twitter stream is fraught with angsty, drama-filled tweets and status updates from the teenagers and young adults (and, okay, some grown-ass people who should know better but don't). Tweets and status updates which, when they look back a year or two or three down the road, will probably make them think oh good Lord why did I even post that? You know the kind.
You can't fault them. They're a product of the social media age, where instead of furiously scribbling your anger out in a journal, you just post it in your online stream of consciousness. And I'm sooooo glad that wasn't an option for me as a kid. Take, for example, this actual diary entry from an eleven-year-old me:
Pepper Humperdinck* is going out with Bobby Frankenstein*. She writes "I heart Bobby" all over her notebook but she does not love him, she just wants a boyfriend to make her look cool because no one else is stupid enough to go out with her but Bobby and Pepper is a conceited SNOB SNOB.
*Names have been changed to protect the "stupid" and "conceited" (and also because some people who went to school with me still read this ... although trust me, guys, this probably isn't about you. Probably).
See? Had social media been around when I was eleven, I might have written something like that on Facebook, instead of in my diary. Wherein I also discuss things such as the mystery of "doing it" and "teen spirit! teen love! teen romance!"
It's bad enough that somewhere in existence, there is a cassette tape of my friend Jessica and I singing a lovely little ditty we called, "Does My Head Look Like a Chili Bowl?" ... with an intermittent clip of the boy next door whispering "ass ... holes ... live" into my tape recorder. Or one of my friend Beth and I - also known (to ourselves) as "The Bodacious Babes" - singing and rapping our preteen hearts out with the help of a sweet Casio keyboard. Songs with riveting lyrics such as, "Bert just stood there motionless like a piece of raw bacon."
We called the radio station and played that tape over the phone, y'all. We actually, legitimately thought it was cool. So you know it would've ended up on Facebook - no, YouTube! - had it been an option. I am dying a little inside at the mere thought.
And pictures? That's a whole other ballgame. I shudder to think that gems like this are floating around printed out on actual paper:
That's caramel popcorn, not some weird mouth fungus.
I had a Polaroid when I was like ten and I would literally spend all my money on film and take dumb picture after dumb picture at sleepovers and stuff. And I was so proud of those dumb pictures. People sleeping, people chewing, people dancing like fools. And guess where they would have ended up, had it been a reality back then? Yeah. Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Instagram.
And I'm not even talking about the pictures and posts that would have accompanied my hard-partying late teens and early twenties, where I thought I was the shiz but in all actuality, indiscretion and completely moronic behavior ruled the day. Ugh.
So you see? If you're my age or older, you probably feel similar. We totally dodged a bullet, didn't we? Social media can be a tool (much like a few people I know) and I'm glad I didn't get to use it until I was actually a semi-responsible adult.
You can "Like" my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter or Instagram, where I swear I do not post (too much) ridiculous dramatic stuff.
I'm old-school, y'all. I save that for my diary.