I have always spent a considerable amount of time online. But how much of that time is spent in a productive manner is certainly up for debate. I joined Facebook my sophomore year of high school, and Twitter the following year. Like many people, these two sites comprise the vast majority of my non-academic online activity. However, I have recently started using LinkedIn, which I find myself checking almost just as frequently in order to increase my connections and endorsements. While I have been encouraged by my professors to utilize other social networking sites like Google +, Instagram, and the uncomfortably feminine Pinterest, my interest in doing so is currently nowhere to be found (I have a feeling it will turn up soon though).
While the majority of my time wasted online comes from social media, I have always been inclined to excessively Google miscellaneous subjects. In my mind, this rather meaningless hobby has had more of an impact on my life than any social media site has had to date. This trend started when I was in sixth grade, also known as the Era of AOL Instant Messenger. I have been a basketball fanatic since day one, so naturally I spent a great deal of time reading about my favorite players like Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade. But I didn’t stop at player statistics – soon I was researching their hometowns and neighborhoods. Part of the reason I sought out this information was due to its foreign nature. As a Caucasian youth growing up in the bland ole state of South Dakota, I found the gang violence, drug trafficking, and poverty of some of these areas to be intriguing. It was a way of life I had never been exposed to (thankfully), and it helped me develop a newfound level of respect and appreciation for some of my favorite world-class athletes who had triumphed trying circumstances to reach the pinnacle of the sports world. As you might imagine, this interest in various sociological environments was eventually appeased – although I still find this subject to be very interesting today. And although I cannot confirm that it has helped me in any tangible manner, it opened my eyes at an early age to the intricate diversity of our world. In doing so, I have grown to take immense pride in my ability to relate to and sympathize with others.
This phase of online wandering paved the way for my next subject of recreational research – art. My first passion, before basketball, was in fact drawing. My artistic pursuits evolved from Calvin and Hobbes-inspired cartooning at a young age to realistic drawings of just about anything and everything early in my high school career. I took every drawing class available, and practiced religiously at home. By sophomore year, I was set on becoming an artist. I was confident in my abilities, and wanted nothing more than to advance my artistic capacity. However, my parents were wary, as they did not want their first-born son to surrender his promising academic potential for an unstable future as a starving artist. While I spent most of my time searching countless artists and their work online, I eventually began to explore career alternatives in the creative industry. Fortunately, It didn’t take long for me to pinpoint advertising and graphic design as my niche.
Yes, social media is essential, especially in my field of study. And contrary to popular belief, wasting time on it can be beneficial. However, this pastime cannot compete with the personal knowledge and growth I have acquired from countless hours of simply Googling whatever sparks my interest.
A look at two of the NBA’s premiere guards and the harsh environment they escaped… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cydAKyfJoOE
And some facts about the site I am most scared of joining. http://socialmediatoday.com/gillpolard/1839431/5-pinterest-stats-consider