Life with social network: Gen Y, what will we become?

Yes, you know it. Those who are born in the mid 1980s until mid 1990s, we are the Gen Y. We are either the smart people who utilise the internet platform or the victims of Facebook and become an addict. We are the ones who read Twitter updates on public transport instead of reading a book. We are the ones who swap newspapers with e-news, birthday cards with Facebook walls, phone calls with e-mails. We are the ones who check our e-mails and social network updates when we wake up in the morning, about 20 times during the day, and just before we about to go to sleep. We are the Gen Y with the internet genetic running deep through our veins.

That passage might be over-exaggerated but you get what I mean. Especially as a media student, you get what I mean.

I became a user of the social media at around 4th grade. It was my first exposure to Friendster, and everyone had an account. So I did it, I faked my age and got an account. I suppose almost all of us did.

Friendster was quite fun for a while but during my junior high school, everyone was migrating to Facebook. When a friend asked me to, I was so lazy to do so, but finally made an account in senior high. Well, I never looked back, and after two whole years of neglecting my Friendster account, I decided to delete it (especially after I knew an incident of someone faking my account, but that’s a different story).

Even before all these social media thingy, I already had an affair with my handphone. During those late junior high school years, I constantly messaged my friends, even at the dinner table. I wonder how I could do that back then.

So here’s the question: Gen Y-ers, do you know the life without social network – the life before?

To answer that question I need to go back to the time when I was 6-8 years old, and it was pretty hard to remember. I remember playing more board games though: UNO, puzzle, Monopoly, and stuffs…? I played outdoor more: roller-blading, cycling, swimming, went to a friend’s house… Come to think of it, I have become an indoor geek at the age of 19, with doing sports once in every two months (excluding walking, of course).

What have I become? I wonder.

Yet if you are a media student like me, and your only source towards the ‘news’ is the Facebook updates (by liking Herald Sun, Psychology Today, MamaMia, etc) and Twitter updates (by following The Age, CNN, NYTimes, etc), it’s actually quite hard to plug off.

So what did I do next? I googled ‘how to know that you are a social network addict’ (wow, I just use google as a verb). I stumbled on the social network quiz, and according to them, I am 32% addicted towards the social media. And out of the 12 signs posted in You know you’re addicted to social media if…, I have 4, so that’s roughly 30%. Plus, according to You know you are a social media addict when… I scored 7 out of 25 points, so it’s about 30% as well.

I wonder what will life become in the next 10 years. or 20. or 30.

I can imagine a life without social network. It’s simple, just like Achilles said in the movie Troy, “Greece got along fine before I was born. And Greece will remain Greece long after I am gone.”

But I can’t imagine a life with the bombardment of social network. Technology will even become more matured in the next decade, and who knows what comes next? We might have robots who do all our works, and the ending will become like the movie I, Robot, or worse, Surrogates.

So the take home message, if any, is to live more in reality.


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