I was about 12 when I first decided to create my own email address. I remember sitting for hours thinking of cool and edgy usernames that would impress just about everyone at school, and encourage every Tom, Dick and Harry to add me on MSN. Suffice to say the handle ‘hippyh’ didn’t have people rushing to correspond with me: the only person I’d email was my best friend and she lived up the road.
Years later, my heart still skips a beat when I log into my inbox, hoping for a secret admirer or even Topshop informing me of a 20% off sale. Unfortunately the only things I receive these days are adverts for Viagra or angry work emails with wankers requesting read receipts.
It got me to thinking that whilst in the midst of the social media generation, where every detail of a person’s private life is shared via Twitter and Facebook, it’s easy to forget about the time when we’d use the internet for cultivating friendships rather than trying to impress the world wide web with pictures of what we’ve had for lunch. My first email address was used for creating stories based on overgrown tomatoes terrorising small towns, whereas the content of my last tweet was complaining about having to go to work on a Monday. Honestly, who cares? How many people genuinely enjoy the pictures posted on Instagram of skinny models and mojitos, aimed to impress people we barely know or like?
It’s hard not to get caught up in the secret, unspoken, competition we have with our peers about who’s living their life better, but I’m going to try stop posting selfies and retweeting pictures of delicious food for a second to focus on what’s really important: stories about killer vegetables.