Social Media: The Cure to Forgetting Names
I have always wondered what it would be like to attend college without the convenience of social media. I mean, think about it. With mediums including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, it has become so increasingly effortless to communicate with your peers and strike up friendships with new people.
I remember how useful social media was to me, especially during the beginning of my freshman year. I lived in Pardee Tower, a dorm in which even-numbered floors were female and odd-numbered were male. We generally had an unwritten open-door policy to initiate introductions easily, so during the first couple of days, I went door-to-door like an ambitious salesperson and met a ton of people. Of course, I bit off a little more than I could chew because I started meeting so many more people than I could remember. For some reason, I have short-term memory when it comes to remembering names. I had more than a few incidents when I would bump into people that I had met previously and whenever they would say, “Hi, Brendan,” I would respond pathetically along the lines of, “Hey… you!” Yes, that did happen a few times, and, yes, those were not my proudest moments.
This is where tools like Facebook come in to rescue students like me. In a world in which it is not uncommon to add people on Facebook as “friends” before asking for their phone numbers first, I actually used Facebook heavily during the first few weeks of my college career to monitor the people that I had met. Not in a creepy way, of course, but in a way that allowed me to match names with faces, as well as maintaining friendships when I did not see them in person. If I add in the fact that I did not have a smartphone or texting for the first month of college, it is safe to assume that I would have had a terrible time remembering names without the advent of social media.
I use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat regularly, and I do think that it is so amazing how social media tools like these have helped students like me advance the art of friendships in a way that talking or texting cannot do. There used to be a time when the only way you could meet someone is by actually physically meeting that person. Now, it is so effortless to connect with someone via social media. To me, that privilege is priceless, especially in college where I have met more people that I can count.