Social media came into my life at around the age of 15. At first I thought my parents were being over-protective and felt peer-pressured to open all sorts of online accounts with the fear of being isolated from my social circles. But looking back, I’m glad I waited till beyond the legal age.
On my Facebook account you have access to much of my personal information: name, age, birthday, education, where I live, where I’m from and my family members. I chose to share this information because I believe it’s needed in order for my contacts to know that it’s really me. I use Facebook predominantly to message my close friends and to share photos that have a special meaning to me.
I add people who I know or have at least heard of, but out of nearly 500 ‘friends’, I only have a close connection with less than 100. I think this goes to show that Facebook does in no way reflect our real personal lives; a profile of someone is just an inaccurate projection of who they really are. Many of my Facebook contacts know almost nothing about me.
On Instagram, I have a private account because I don’t feel entirely comfortable with sharing my photos with the whole community. I only provide a small amount of information such as my name and a short biography about me, again to let people know that it’s me. What I like about Instagram is that, unlike Facebook, I’m not constantly reminded to change my profile picture and update information – rather I can do that at my own pace.
As for Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Flickr and many other platforms, I do not hold such accounts. This is because I feel that the profiles I currently have are enough – they serve for the right purposes and already take up a lot of my time. However, I think that as I move closer to hopefully becoming a journalist, I will inevitably widen my online presence to make global connections.