Schuster: Students exercise unprecedented confidence when using social media

There’s a question that’s been bothering me for a while.

How do you know people care about what you have to say?

I’m asking because as an on-again-off-again blogger (Is anyone not a blogger these days? We should start a union), I’ve often stopped writing a piece in a panic, frozen by fear because I’m assuming people care about what I have to say, but could easily be horribly mistaken.

That’s why I’m always so surprised at how confident my peers are when expressing themselves through social media.

For example, my dear Facebook friend, how did you know I wanted to read that even though your phone is dead, your love can contact you via Facebook when he wakes up, and that you love him so, so much and you cannot wait to see him in 10 minutes?

I can only dream of having a relationship so secure that my loved one and I know everyone is eating up our most intimate and mundane conversations.

Or better yet, as someone in a long-distance relationship, I can’t express how much joy it gives me to see an album of you and your significant other kissing and embracing. Especially when you make that heart shape by connecting your thumb and pointer finger. The symbolism gets me every time.

The fuzzy feelings don’t just happen once, but over and over again in a 32-picture web cam album titled, “My boo.”

I wasn’t sure if love was real until seeing that in my feed, and with this knowledge, I can finally get out of bed and enter the world with a smile.

I hear my single friends appreciate it just as much.

Whether it happens to be about the most recent election or gun control, I go to Facebook for the most up-to-date and accurate opinions in real time.

It’s not easy to form an educated opinion after one exposure to an event, so I’m impressed time and again by the ability of my Facebook friends to articulate opinions on a variety of subjects in just one paragraph. Are you sure you aren’t all in Newhouse? Really — your writing is superb.

I just got an iPhone, so naturally I’ve started using Instagram. Whenever I see a “selfie,” I imagine the person in the process of taking it, acting as both photographer and model.

“You look beautiful darling. Work the camera. That’s right, let me see that pout. I want to see bored at the airport. Gorgeous, you’re doing great.”

Unfortunately, I don’t share the sassy photographer inner monologue, and have already suffered multiple selfie-induced anxiety attacks. But I’ve tried.

The original picture was okay. Nothing special. I didn’t pull off looking happy, but instead resembled someone bearing all of her teeth at the dentist, guiltily thinking about all the candy she had eaten the night before.

But with one button, I was a piece of art.

My smile somehow looked more genuine and the emptiness in my eyes seemed mysterious. Finally seeing my full potential as a beautiful human, I started to flip through the filters.

I tried filters such as the insta-fake tan, somehow-better-than-regular-black-and-white, “Where did that light come from?” and super-bright-colors-that-don’t-exist-in-the-natural-world.

Finally, I settled on “I’m in a magical forest” because I thought it suited me best.

But there was that panic. Surely no one would appreciate how much time I had dedicated to picking out a filter. I was nothing special, just another girl who happened to have magical forest lighting in her bedroom. So I didn’t post it, jealous of those who could.

But I do enjoy Instagram. It keeps me up to date with what my friends are eating and the weather conditions of my school.

Did you guys know it was zero degrees yesterday? I wasn’t sure until I saw it on Instagram six times.

Then it completely slipped my mind, but thankfully was reiterated on Facebook. I was about to walk out in shorts and a halter-top until the 16th status about the weather set me straight.

The amount of information some of you are willing to share is inspiring, and I thank you for it. I hope to someday acquire that kind of confidence, and maybe at that point I’ll finish a blog post.

Until then, I guess I’ll just keep writing this column.


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