According to all the research, I’m a millennial. On the plus side, I’m curious and collaborative, and it’s important to me that my life has some sort of “meaning.” On the negative side, I sometimes talk more than I listen, and I’m overly attached to my smartphone.
That said, I would argue that it’s my connection to my smartphone that has kept me sane throughout the latter half of my 30-something years of being. Not in a Her kind of way, but in a moved-away-from-home-at-21-and-called-my-mom-and-friends-multiple-times-a-day kind of way.
Take, for instance, big life stages. After college, one of my closest friends moved to Colorado. We couldn’t afford expensive flights to visit each other, so Skype and text messages were our go-to for keeping in touch. A few years and a marriage later (all of which were posted to Instagram), I was expecting my first child and wanted to share the news with my cousin in Guam. Enter WhatsApp. In addition, I couldn’t attend another cousin’s wedding due to the aforementioned pregnancy, so I was FaceTimed into the ceremony. You get where I’m going with this.It was also my smartphone that led me to stumble upon the Something Navy account on Instagram in 2009, coincidentally at the same time that I was trying my own hand at fashion blogging. Its creator, Arielle Noa Charnas, and I seemed to be living parallel lives. She was an open book, and everything she posted felt like she was rifling through the files of my mind. I’ve never met her in person, but we went through breakups at the same time, we got married and had babies around the same time, and we both came out of those experiences with newfound confidence, ready to tackle the next big thing life had in store for us. I still rely on her for fashion inspiration years later, but I can also count on her super candid posts about life and being a working mom to make me feel a bit less like a crazy person. That, to me, is what meaningful media is all about.