Old School Social Media

Nowadays we are all on Facebook, Twitter, various blog sites, and Pinterest. But what did we do before the time of current social media? I’m sure our fifteen-year-old selves wanted to share our obviously intelligent thoughts and pictures of us in braces and scrunchies. While reminiscing with some friends I decided to compile a list of the old “social media” outlets.

  1. Webshots – This was where you uploaded pictures before Facebook albums existed. After four attempts at guessing my Webshots username I finally got in using my password that I originally used with my first AOL screenname (puppy2117). Of course I still use the same password today. The pictures date back to 2005 and showcase birthdays, proms, snow days and trips with my family. I also realized I was “friends” with some of my high school pals on webshots which led to even more albums of awkward outfits (I particularly enjoyed my jeans that had patches on them that I had sewn on), unfortunate facial blemishes, and days before we knew how to use hair straigtheners and hair gel.

  2. Xanga- While I was not a Xanga owner, I have friends who were. From what I gather it was like a blog where you write your daily thoughts and then have your friends comment on it. Rereading some of the posts definitely allow for numerous laughs especially about having to sign off quickly because “Dad is going to turn off the internet”. Our biggest problems also seemed to be not being able to hang out with our boyfriend/girlfriend or not being able to get into an R rated movie.

  3. Expages- I was a big fan of Expages and during my computer-programming phase even created pop up boxes that would allow the visitor to enter their name so the site was personalized. What a nerd! I think I had about 4 different Expages some which contained quotes, some cartoon dolls (remember those!? If not its that weird fairy thing at the top of this post.) and some that were just my ramblings. I have tried to no prevail to uncover these old sites and see just how weird I was as a teenager. Guess I will just have to imagine what was on there.

  4. AOL- I will forever remember when my parents finally let me download AOL. I had begged them for months and was beside myself excited when they allowed me to get it. I created my aforementioned screenname, puppy2117, and added my friends who I would chat with for hours about who liked who and what they were wearing for Spirit Week. Of course I created ridiculous away messages such as; “What if the hokey pokey really IS what it’s all about!? Will we all have to turn ourselves around?” or some emo song lyrics that I thought I could relate to but really had no idea what it meant. Then there were the AOL profiles that included all your best friends initials, a countdown until your next beach trip and various inside jokes that only made sense to one person on your buddy list. I can’t forget to mention SmarterChild who I always tried to trip up with a ridiculous question. I like to think Siri is the modern day SmarterChild.

Nowadays it seems you know exactly what everyone is doing and thinking at every moment of the day. I am nostalgic for the days of choosing your font and color for your AOL profile and reading your friend’s Xanga that details their track meet and tanning by the pool.


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