Before facebook and twitter really hit it big how were the social lives of people especially in the cyber world? I remember how I would look forward to open my email and read some of those hilarious, not so funny and the spam junk forwards everyone got. Yeah I even read mail in the spam folder which nowadays is deleted without second thought. The internet speeds were painstakingly slow but, I never heard anyone complain, we didn’t care. There was no Mozilla, chrome, netscape, safari or opera with tabbed browsing and all that jazz, only good old internet explorer. You would have to open different windows for each of the pages you wanted to view and wait for a looooooooong time for them to load, no complaining still. There was no youtube and we did have a clue what napster was anyway if you tried downloading anything music of movies it would have taken a couple of weeks to complete one and the speeds would be brought to a halt. We had to store our stories in our heads and wait till when we met up with friends and then is when we would relive and tell the again.
Then social networks started creeping in slowly, first it was Hi5 I joined but after a month deactivated the account. Then came tagged, wow tagged was quite something, actually Kash signed me up and send me the password! All I had to do was just log in. For the three months I remained a member what I remember was that there were no restrictions and girls could post raunchy pictures which meant whenever you hit the cyber you had to demand privacy and the computer on the corner was always occupied and when you turn came, you just Tag along!
During one of those sessions to read the emails and hear what happened to who or the wonder emails which always said when you send to fifteen people you get lucky or something like that I get an invite to facebook. To make things even better it was accessible by phone, what could be better than that? Instead of writing texts, inboxing and walling became the ‘nusu ya kuonana’ this was closely followed by twitter a year later, we joined it but its usage has only increased from mid last year. Social networks became a way of life instead of asking for a person’s phone number it was the norm asking for the username to a social network. But when you find yourself talking about everything and anything disregarding the time or the company you are in, even when you are eating, the realization hits you that you are becoming a slave and losing the very ties the social network is supposed to be strengthening in the first place. That is why I decided to start experimenting with taking hiatuses from the networks once in a while, when I am in the company of others to try and resist the temptation to tweet or update about it, be it a date, meeting or whatever company it be and try and give the full attention and maybe relive it later in the network like them old days.
So three weeks ago I switched off my social networks just to see how I would fare and it was a battle as I would caress my phone and think to tweet and put an update or not to. The evil twin would tempt me with, ‘Mackel just login to see if there are any DMs or inboxes’ but the good twin would tell me, ‘Mackel you are doing good already stay strong and be a man of your word.’ Good thing is I have disabled all my notifications so whenever I opened my email I didn’t need to be reminded of what I was missing. The temptation was great if I can use one of Barney Stinsen’s lines, ‘it felt like I was outside of awesome looking in!’ But then I found out awesome is relative, it is what you make it to be.