Writer’s block: Watching friends and family grow up online

It’s hard for me to fathom that social media was not a common word when I graduated from college almost 10 years ago.

Eric Hagen
Eric Hagen

Today, about one in seven people around the world have Facebook accounts.

I have 206 “friends,” but only regularly talk to a couple dozen of them.

I do not have a Twitter account and still am confused on why people are into Pinterest. I can find out what my friends are interested in when I talk to them.

There’s other social media sites I have heard about that I honestly cannot remember the names of unless I google them.

I am coming up on my 33rd birthday in late November and I feel like a technological dinosaur. This is just my personality.

I do not buy the latest and supposedly greatest gadget. Mostly this is due to economics.

I can wait another year when a newer version comes out and I can buy the “old” version for a more affordable price. I do this for any electronic products.

Some day I may break down and get an e-reader, but not anytime soon. I prefer the feeling of a book and not a computer in my hand.

One college professor was surprised when I told her I prefer an actual newspaper and not reading articles online.

That’s not to say I do not read articles online, but I still prefer a hard copy.

When I go to a restaurant or bar with my friends, I am annoyed when everyone is looking down at their smart phones.

Of course, they are great to have and I now own one, but I have to stop myself if I feel I am looking down too much and missing what is happening right in front of me.

I love calling my parents every weekend, but am really bad at responding to emails and Facebook messages because I get so tired of being on the computer after a long day at work.

I cannot remember when or how I first heard about Facebook, but knowing me I likely waited a year to sign up.
Mark Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com Feb. 4, 2004. The next day, I started my first job out of college at Sun Focus newspapers after graduating the month prior.

It’s mind-blowing to think how much has changed in a decade.

Instant messenger programs from Yahoo and MSN were big when I was in college, and email had been around long before that, so communicating over the Internet was not exactly earth shattering.

The biggest change while I was in college was being able to download music online and not having to buy an artist’s whole album and only like a few songs.

Of course, not many people were paying for this privilege at the time thanks to Sean Parker and his Napster venture.

For those who have seen “The Social Network,” which is a great movie directed by David Fincher, you know that Parker would have a hand in the social network revolution.

Aaron Sorkin did a superb job on “The Social Network” script. In one scene, Parker, played by Justin Timberlake, was telling a group of college kids that people lived on farms, lived in cities and they were going to live on the Internet.

It’s physically impossible to live on the Internet unless there is some weird virtual reality in our future, but this dramatized prophecy is becoming more true every day.

People are living their lives through the Internet.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. I was able to re-connect with a few high school friends, can quickly share photos of my interesting trips or home projects with my friends and families and see what is new in the lives of friends who I get along great with but just do not have the time to call that much.

It’s been interesting to watch my news feed change from pictures of people having drinks at the bar to a bunch of photos of babies and young children.

I am watching my circle of friends grow up online.