You know, when I imagined my future when I was 12, I was picturing flying cars and jet packs, not “Tweet” this and “Like” that. I certainly didn’t think I’d be studying it intensely. I thought my life would be more like that of The Jetsons.
But … man oh man has the world has changed in just five or six short years. The first iPhone is an ancient fossil at this point (2007), writers’ strike against Hollywood studios has left all of us Europeans not giving a hot damn about it (2009), but apparently it was a big whoop in the US of A, and Justin Bieber has finally hit puberty at the age of 19. Too many changes, way too fast!
Aside from your general pop culture shifts in trends, the world has experienced some other adjustments. A few years back I distinctly remember how people with a Facebook account were sometimes mocked for having it. Of course, this is due to MySpace’s popularity and the fact that you could add an infinite amount of junk to your profile in order to make yourself stand out from the rest of your pre-pubescent peers. The argument was that Facebook looked boring, you couldn’t customize every single detail of your profile page, you couldn’t add all the horrible songs you like and most of all you pretty much had to use your real name, like a grown up, instead of something as classy as “SexyBuns26”.
Well, fast forward to 2013, MySpace is as dead as a dodo and they’re desperately trying to cling to whatever relevancy they have left in order to avoid pulling the plug on the whole damn thing. Long story short – Facebook to MySpace is like Ali to Foreman, Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader, Kryptonite to Superman, Math to me.
In fact, things have changed so much that now it makes people scratch their heads when someone says they don’t have a Facebook account. The world has done a 180, then went home, updated its status and all the other planets “Liked” it. Insane! Usually individuals without a Facebook page have their own reasons which make perfect sense, but it doesn’t stop the rest of the world from thinking that this person has killed somebody recently and that’s why they went into hiding. Before you do anything, don’t report them to the police! They’re sane and they don’t like ads shoved in their faces and private information shared all over the web.
Either way, Facebook has become a ginormous part of our lives that we can’t shake off. However, as mighty as Mark Zuckerberg’s spawn has become, Twitter seems to have an effect on pop culture that Facebook doesn’t.
Remember the last few paragraphs? You know, how things have changed, how some social media were considered passe and odd but now they’re overpopulated with users? Good job! You didn’t fall asleep!
Well, friend, the same applies to Twitter. Twitter blew up in the last few years. People love, love, love sharing their boring lifestyles in 140 characters, and it’s the easiest way for a C-list celebrity to promote their Z-list movie without having to pay a dime. Brilliant!
However, in order to truly see Twitter’s power nowadays, you have to look at the backlash Twitter related cases have on the real world. Nobody bats an eye when your roommate tweets that he just tried to light his own farts because he’s bored, but when Miley Cyrus stops following her ex-fiance – everybody goes ape. Bloggers, YouTubers, TMZ (as per usual) act like this came out of nowhere. Nevermind that officially the two have not been seen in the same zip code in half a year, never wearing their engagement rings, it is not official to the world unless they unfollow themselves on Twitter. And when they do? Duck and cover.
The same applies to Jonas Brothers breaking up (I’ll surely miss that band, said no sane person ever), or any other heart wrenching celebrity break up.
So things have changed. An awful lot. At least for modern pop culture.
Friends, the day a single click on some social media website’s “Unfollow” button makes hundreds of Internet enthusiasts to blog, vlog, schlog and schmog about it, is the day we truly have to admit that social media is a monster that the world has never had to deal with before, and we’re only getting started.
Social media has grown so much that unfollowing, unsubcribing or unfriending is the equivalent of walking up to someone and slapping them in front of their mom, and is – sometimes – national news. I’m not sure if that scares or entertains me. Maybe both.
One thing’s for sure though – I’m still waiting for my flying car and my jet pack!