Hi, my name is Kelsey, and I never knew college without Facebook. From the moment Twitter began, I was constantly aware of the 140-character updates on the minutia of my friends lives. In high school, I could read their (probably-all-too-personal-to-be) online journals. Now skype, gchat, and blogs play a large part in keeping me connected to friends and family across the country. Social media has, for better or worse, acted as a major mode of communication for what seems like a ridiculous portion of my life. Then sometimes I think: I’m only 22–maybe it’s ridiculous that I didn’t have a web presence before I hit double-digits (AIM by age 8, a MySpace by 12, and a LiveJournal/Tumblr by 14 as seems to be the norm. That is, if you don’t count your parents posting sonogram pictures on Facebook as having a web presence.)
As pervasive as social media has been in my life, I never really considered what it could mean beyond immediately knowing what my friends were eating and just how delicious it looked until I started looking for jobs near the end of college. Museums, archives, historic sites, and professional societies that interested me maintained blogs and twitter feeds that actually posted things I wanted to see. Online exhibits from the West Coast made material available to me that I’ve yet to make time to visit in person. A digital archives initiative in North Dakota employed me as I traveled between Chicago and suburban Georgia for a few months last year. The professional possibilities of new media are astounding, but my exposure to current trends is severely limited.
All this is to say that I’m interested in using new media in ways that will contribute to the field and continue to make history and its stories available to a wider, more global audience. I cannot, however, promise that I won’t document the world’s most perfect fried green tomato sandwich should it find its way to my plate.