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The Growing Pains of Growing Up with Social Media

Updated: Feb 22

I remember being barely out of junior school, and signing up to social networks like Bebo, MySpace and Tumblr - even though I was underage - but me and my friends obviously just lied about our date of birth to get access.

And by that point, I was already using MSN Messenger (I miss you) and getting everyone's BBM pin (I also miss you) so most of my communication was online and via a screen.

❤️ I was sending love... Via Bebo.

👯‍♀️ I was showing appreciation... By adding my friends to my MSN status.

📲 I was getting in touch with everyone... By sending a BBM Broadcast message.

Don't get me wrong, I was still playing, going out with my friends and doing all of the normal kid stuff but outside of that, I was straight on my phone or trying to kick my brothers off of the shared computer.

Already, from a young age, I was getting out of touch with reality but the problem is, I didn't know it because firstly, I'm a child and secondly, everyone else was doing the same thing. The people I was talking to outside of school, were the people I was seeing inside of school every single day.

But those people continued their journey, in the sense that they went to college and university.

I didn’t. I struggled with my mental health and I had to drop out, so I ended up rotting in bed for a couple of years.

And when I finally did get into work, I was extremely shy and was barely able to have a simple conversation with someone.

But I put this down to the fact I already struggled with anxiety and I was an introverted person.

However, this all changed over the last couple of years - in fact, it all changed when I launched Girl Power Marketing.

I had an embarrassing realisation.

"Fuck, I don't know how to talk to people."

I thought I didn't like small talk because I would rather talk about your deepest darkest secrets, the universe and how life is so finite.

But it turns out, I didn't like it because I didn't know how to talk to people without a screen in my face.

I've always been more comfortable messaging people, rather than calling, and I've been at previous jobs where they've asked me to call someone and I've genuinely just pretended.

I wondered why I wasn’t like my peers because people make talking to people look SO easy but…

→ I didn't finish college, so didn't get any socialisation there

→ I didn't go to university, so I didn't get any socialisation there

→ I isolated myself due to my illness, so I didn't get any socialisation there

I thought social media was connecting me with people when really (shocker) I was using it in a way that disconnected me.

So I’ve been teaching myself how to talk to people. I’ve been going to events by myself. I’ve been watching YouTube videos about it. I’ve been making more friends. I’ve been learning how to have small talk with the barista. I’ve been making calls instead of messaging.

And I’m not unique but my god, I wish someone else had spoken about it so I didn’t feel so weird.

But I’m not weird, I’m not awkward - I was just a girl who grew up with social media.

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