The Modern Teen

Inside the mind of the American teen

Growing Up Twitbook: Top 10 Predictions Of Life in 2024!

What will the world look like when it is run by people who never knew life without social media? A generation of adolescents is about to enter adulthood and change life for all of us! Read More

I'm 17 and I don't use social media. Never have, never will.

Call me old-fashioned, but #4 and #8 scare me the most. Any company that won't hire me because I don't have a collection of "selfies" to pull from is not a company I want to work for. Social media is stupid, period. I don't get any gratification from seeing some moron take a picture of him/herself eating a Subway sandwich or taking a crap. Never mind if it's in a restroom at the White House or Disney World; I just don't care. Do they realize that it is possible to "like" the "wrong" thing? That companies are increasingly filtering out candidates based on their social media interests and activities? An example would be "Liking" Ellen DeGeneres on Facebook and then applying for a job at Chick Fillet. (Not that I'd ever want to work for such a bigoted corporation, but you get the idea.)

I don't have any Google-able information about me online besides whatever's in the phone book or the census data. If that makes me a bad employee, because I'd rather spend more time WORKING than bothering with stupid social shit, then so be it, I guess I'm one hell of a diligent freeloader. Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg can go suck their mother's "twit."

Number 8 bothers me just because I'm old-fashioned. I don't really celebrate holidays or birthdays all that much, but I prefer getting handwritten cards versus the cold, impersonal automated email that comes because your birthday is programmed into somebody's Google Calendar or Facebook list. (It's relatively easy to write a script doing this, too, with Regular Expressions and replaceable strings. "Happy $ordinal[nd|rd|th] Birthday $firstname!")

To me, that's like giving someone a gift card as a present, or worse, the new thing which involves a "birthday registry" or "Christmas registry" on Amazon, Kaboodle, etc. It takes all the spontaneity out of gift-giving and well wishes, and it sucks. Plus, sending anything via postal mail is still more secure than sending by email or social media. I don't buy for one minute that the NSA isn't reading content. As of right now, the law says that they can only look at the front address of a mail delivery, and need a warrant to look inside at the contents. Whether or not they follow that to the "letter," I seriously doubt, but the laws are much more vague when it comes to e-communication versus the old Sneakernet. I can address an envelope just fine. I can't do a Tweet, however, or a Pin or a SelfChat or whatever gizmo of the week pops up all of a sudden. And frankly, I think I'm better off for it. At least it means I'll apparently never be in contact with any other Millennials, which doesn't bother me in the least and can only be beneficial to my blood pressure and mental health.

Fuck social media and a pox on anyone who uses it. Call me a Luddite, but I really don't give a shit that somebody is taking one.

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Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Term Professor and the Director of Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He writes about clinical adolescent psychology.

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