The summer after freshman year in college was a summer of transition: moving into my first apartment, declaring a major in chemistry, and switching personal email addresses to one that had my full name. Any monicker with “tgn” was extinguished. Also, that summer I deactivated my Facebook account because it was distracting and intended to reactivate it a few months later. I was practicing a social media cleanse before there was even a term for it. For a reason that I don’t remember, though, I couldn’t reactivate my profile.
I was reminded of this event during the flurry of “10 year challenge” posts that flooded the social media channels that I have since cleansed and restored many times over. Wanting to participate and looking for the perfect 2009 photo, I scrolled through my Facebook albums only to find that the earliest pictures of me on there are from 2010. I eventually created a new Facebook profile after discovering that I couldn’t simply restore my old one. I suppose the latter part of that year was dedicated to rebuilding a network of online friends, and I had never gotten into a habit of uploading photos of myself in any consistent manner. I was at a school where I only really knew one other person before starting there, and I maintained contact with my hometown friends online. Ten years ago, I often felt disconnected from the world.