By Zanae Jones, Boise State University
“Hello”, my phone wakes me in a solemn voice. Flashing lights hit me like a cold shower. I was having a hunting dream about one of my friends posting an unflattering picture of me in Facebook. I turn to see who is calling me at 5 am. “Oh”, I say. I have a friend request. My heart starts to pound, who wants to be my friend? Wiping my mouth and eyes, look at my phone, click on my Facebook icon and see Iron Joe is requesting to be my friend. “Who is Iron Joe”, I think. I put my phone down, lie down to fall back to sleep. “Hello”, I hear again. Excited anxiety rushes over me, to hear who is contacting me; I lean over and answer my phone. Oh, it’s Forest; I met him last week through Sara’s page. I know Sara through my running team. I checked out his blog, “Why people should not have girlfriend”, last week. He seems down to earth. The inbox message reads, “When can we hook up?” I laugh but feel flattered at the same time. “He must be joking, I don’t even know him”. ”Ok, I’m up!” I decide not to respond to him. I start looking through my news feed. Sara’s going to the new restaurant, Golden Corral today. She heard good reviews. I may meet her later. My cousin baby walked two steps two minutes ago; she posted the video. “He is so cute, I miss them!” Hour one passes, hour two, hour three. “Ring”, my phone alarm springs alive. Its 11 am, oh my Goodness! I have homework to do. Man, I started this online class to get ahead in my Spanish class but it’s been too difficult trying to get the work done. I don’t have time. The class takes away from my personal time.
“Ding”, I receive a text on my phone. It’s Forest. “What!” how did he get my cell number? “Ok”, now I’m upset. I wonder who gave him my phone number. “Oh”, I posted it on my Facebook page. “Can I come over your house?” he asked. “No!” I scream at the top of my soundless thought. I ignore his text. I start on my Spanish homework. “Ding”, it’s the online chat room for my Spanish class. “Ola”, says my Spanish online teacher. “Zanae, I see you just signed into the class”. I look, at the time. “Oh darn’ it”, I forgot, she was able to see the time I logged in and out. “Yes, Ms. Perez I just logged on”. I’ve never met Ms. Perez in person. But I think I saw her once at Albertsons Grocery Store.
My parents talk about how they had beepers when I was born in 1996. I could not image not being able to use my phone, my computer to talk to other people. What did people do to meet other people? It seems like blind dating would be dangerous. Meeting people by Facebook first seems safer. Or is it?
When writing this blog I thought,” what is social media?” Social is interacting with people and media the interaction by internet or computer. Social media has allowed me to interact with my friends, chat online with team mates and classmates. My cousin attends an online high school; social media allows him to interact the entire day with many different people without having him to leave his home. My auntie runs an online store that she interacts with her customers and receives and disburses money. She can even pay bills online. There is no reason for her to leave her home.
I love social media, but it’s affected me in positive and negative ways. It’s positive from my classes and how my family use blogs for interaction. Negative because I didn’t understand how to protect myself. I didn’t understand that everyone that post a picture on Facebook may not be the same person, I didn’t know not to trust everyone. Needless to say, my so-called friend Forest came and sliced my tires at my house because I told him not to call me anymore. He showed up at my house, my parents not knowing if he was my friend or not, let him in. Charles who said he was 15 was 25. He didn’t look 25 but I found out later. Social Media is positive if you use it correctly but negative if you’re not cautious. Don’t give out your personal information online. Don’t tell the world every step of your day. Yes, many people are not out to do you harm but many are. I was lucky, I was not hurt. I came out of the situation with my arms legs and face intact but some people do not.