New Millennial

Just a Brunette in a Hamster Ball

One of my favorite television shows to watch when I was in high school was Veronica Mars. I remember vividly as I watched this sassy, persnickety teenager turned sassy, persnickety adult investigate crimes of her fellow classmates and expose injustice whenever she could.

I wanted to talk like her (and now I’m ripping off lines from the show for my own blog). I wanted to do what she did. I wanted to be her.

My best friend at the time, Leah, and I used to call each other at 8:59 p.m. EST, just before the show would air. Back then, the elusive ‘house phone’ had yet to go into complete obscurity and the word ‘text’ had yet to become a verb. We would stay on the phone throughout the entire episode, gushing over the scenes that came between commercial breaks.

At the time, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and for that one hour every Tuesday night, I neglected to care or even think to care about the fact that I had no clue about my next move. All I cared about was how Veronica was going to solve the mystery of her best friend’s murder.

I look back on that time in my life and I think about how fortunate I was to grow up in an age that wasn’t yet completely saturated by social media. Don’t get the wrong idea; it was about 2006, so we weren’t living in the dark ages by any means. But, we also weren’t living in a time where social media rages on and controls our everyday life.

And, to be honest, I never realized the charmed life I led in high school until I started teaching high school.

For the last two years, I’ve been teaching English to high school students, and it’s a constant #blessed that I’m no longer in high school. Forget about the stress of school, homework, AP classes, and getting into college; the social aspect of high school these days is, in a word, exhausting!

Yesterday, my students and I were discussing the new Snapchat update that now allows for infinite snaps for a current event, and they began to school me on the intricacies of social media for the new millennial.

“Ms. Hockensmith,” one student said, “I’m surprised you even know enough about Snapchat to care about this new update.”

“Well, Charlie,” I said. “I’m 25, not 100.”

“That’s not what I meant,” he said quickly. “It’s just that I never think of teachers as having social media.”

“She has an Instagram too,” another student said.

The one downside of being a teacher with social media is that your students tend to be very good at stalking. The one bright side among the dark clouds is that although they can find me, they can’t follow me. Thank God for small victories.

“Oh, cool,” he said turning to me. “How many do you have?”

At this point, I was a little taken aback. How many Instagrams should a person have? Doesn’t everyone only have the one?

Apparently not.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “I have an Instagram.”

“Oh,” he said. “I have three.”


“Yeah,” he said. “One that my parents can see, one that my parents can’t see, and one for my photography portfolio.”

I stopped the conversation there, thinking that any follow up to those revelations would lead me to a place I didn’t want to be.

It never occurred to me to have multiple accounts, especially as a teenager living in a small town. What use could that possibly serve? When I was a kid, MySpace had just come into fashion and I had a secret account for thirty minutes before the discussions of the “Top 8” and the fear of getting caught by my hypervigilant mother forced me to take it down. These kids have to hide three secret accounts from their parents? Policing that must be a full-time job, so it’s no wonder why they don’t have time to do the homework I assign them.

The days of talking on the house phone to your best friend about a show you’re watching on cable seem to be in the rearview mirror for these new millennials. Now it’s all ‘Netflix and chill?’ texts and Snapchatting your friends weird animated likenesses of yourself doing random things.

Times have changed and we have changed with them, but what I wouldn’t give to curl up with the house phone, Veronica Mars, and my childhood for just a little bit longer.

3 thoughts on “Just a Brunette in a Hamster Ball

  1. My comment would be larger then a dictionary….my love for my Grandaughter is larger than the world……


  2. Wow, you have a (not shocking) a great writers voice! I loved your piece.

    I as well have multiple social media accounts. I’ve had 2 facebooks for 7 years now. It was hard to police at first (ok, to be honest like 5 years). I have my private one, which I’ve had since 2006. That is for friends and family. The other is my professional one. There was a lot of stress for me when I became a teacher to have all of these strangers want to be my FB friend. Then, surprisingly they were offended (seriously people I didn’t now other than their name at my school) that I didn’t add them to my personal life. That is when I created a friendly, clean non-political, no fun Facebook page. This place can have any former student, child’s parent or co-worker on it. No fear of getting in trouble with my admin. Over what I post. Nothing anyone can stalk in my high school and college days.


    1. Thank you so much! And, yeah, I’m now dabbling in the multiple social media account game as well. It just surprised me that a kid (or more specifically kids) would need multiple ones. I mean, they’re in high school after all. Haha


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