this is my conscious blessing, the one I didn’t ask for until after it already chose me.
My dad bought our first computer when I was a junior in high school. It sat in the den with a giant CRT monitor that illuminated the entire room whenever it was on, and my brother and I fought regularly over whose turn it was to sign on to AOL. My first screen name was “LOL15” - partly because I was fifteen years old, but mostly because my dad made me pick on the spot. Horrible name aside, “LOL15” was my first introduction to the internet and my love of social media. Sixteen years later I’ve gone through a few LiveJournal diaries, a handful of MySpace accounts, a couple attempts at Facebook, one public Twitter, and countless message boards, apps, and blogs. I drove into adulthood with the internet in the back seat and spilled my twenty-something angst for every passenger to see.
Before 2013, I had a large but manageable online presence. I dealt with internet drama before, but not in person. I shared photos of my family and close friends and cleavage and whatever else came to mind. I could (and did) tweet anything, using social media to get through the misery of my former job and dragging celebrities for any faux-pas I found inappropriate. Was I a bully? Am I still? Regardless, 2013 is the year that determined that my use of social media in all of its many incarnations would permanently change.