An Open Letter to 12-Year-Old, Facebook Newbie Me

By: Sarah Dussome

December 1, 2016

Dear Sarah,

Congratulations! You’ve just joined what will soon become one of the world’s largest and most diverse forms of online communication. I know you’re excited to start chatting up your friends and posting all of your vacation photos, but there’s something I want you to know before getting too ahead of yourself.

You probably don’t realize this, but your newly created Facebook profile reflects your personal brand and shows the world (a.k.a. everyone on your friend list) who you are and what kind of attitude you have towards yourself, others, and the world around you. With Facebook, you get to decide what type of “face” you show to the world; you have the ability to showcase your best qualities through your statuses and pictures and decide, on some level, how people perceive you in the virtual world. I know you think that dedicating statuses to how badly you want chocolate chip cookies or uploading endless photos of the random-est things is pretty funny, and I know that you feel obligated to share “what’s on your mind” every time you log in. But, to be honest, between these pointless statuses, weird photos, and clogging your page with intentionally misspelled words doesn’t make you look cool. Seriously. They make you look silly and ridiculous. Although it’s okay to look a little silly and ridiculous sometimes, you need to consider that, while the “delete” button does exist, people on your friend list won’t be seeing your best self and won’t take you seriously. Ok? Ok.

Even though it might not seem like it, what you post on social media does matter. You are communicating with others on a vast online network that extends to every corner of the globe, and some day, when you expand your circles and meet people from other cities, provinces, and continents, Facebook will provide you with the opportunity to keep in touch with them. It’s a far more powerful tool than you realize, and I know you’ll have fun using it (responsibly) over the next 9 years!

Love,

21-Year-Old You

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2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to 12-Year-Old, Facebook Newbie Me

  1. This is a really creative blog post! You managed to still be informative and illustrate how Facebook trends and practices have evolved, and how they affect us as users in this format. Well done!

    Like

  2. Sarah! This is amazing, and I think anyone who opens their memory notification to a cringe worthy post dated back to jr. high would agree with your message. The voice you create throughout this piece is reflective and yet encouraging. I’ve noticed that Facebook users younger than us, around the 15-18 mark, don’t post anything on Facebook. I think our age category were the guinea pigs for a lot of online sources, be it from Nexopia, to My Space, to tumblr, and even MSN. We didn’t know how to conduct ourselves online and kind of stumbled around to find our bearings. We certainly come from humble beginnings as far as our personal online Branding goes. This post is fantastic and creatively written! Well done!

    Like

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