The evolution of technology has a lot to do with your age. As time moves on, so does your age. When you were younger, something that was popular before most likely isn’t as popular as you have grown into an adult. For example, my dad would tell me that walkmans were the most popular media player out at that time when he was going up. He was able to listen to music. and be on the go, and it was revolutionary. Now, he couldn’t be bothered with being able to stream music apps like Spotify or Apple Music right from your cellphone. For me growing up in Gen Z, social media is a big thing. Especially in a time like this where we are experiencing a pandemic. Things like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat as a way to speak to my peers around my age, and I use a little bit of Facebook and Whatsup to talk to my relatives. After reading “Visitors and Residents: a new typology for online engagement,” This is definitely what I am experiencing — social media as modes for communication. My parents, aunties, and older cousins only use Facebook and Whatsapp. They find Twitter and Instagram confusing, so being able to keep up with lives and seeing how they are handling the pandemic and life in general in different parts of the world, media like these is quite precious to me. Seeing what’s trending on Twitter is like reading the front page like a newspaper to me. Looking through Instagram, I get a glimpse of my peers’ lives, and seeing them post videos on Snapchat gives me somewhat of a feeling that I’m there with them. Sometimes, I look up from my phone screen, it feels like lifting so much weight off my neck, and I realize how long I’ve been confused by my phone and try to take a break. But, it usually doesn’t last long. I sometimes wonder, will I ever break free from the hold social media has on me? I’m not too sure.
In the article “The Internet and Youth Culture,” Gustavo S. Mesch writes, “The internet is often used to express unexplored aspects of the self and to create a virtual persona (54). I found the create a virtual persona part sentence interesting because it can be a good and a bad thing depending on the context. For example, on platforms like Instagram, sometimes the persona you create can benefit you. The way things have shifted with how we use social media can also give out too much information, reveal all kinds of information, and receive many different responses. We have things like fake Instagram profiles or “finsta” to express how we are truly feeling and what we’re going through, sometimes either for our followers’ enjoyment or sometimes you need someone to vent to. Either way, you are expressing different unexplored aspects of yourself, which I believe was the platform’s goal anyway.