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My Relationship With the Internet, Social Media & Influencers

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, let's talk about relationships. Well, a different kind of relationship. We're not talking about pure love and adoration for another living and breathing human who is actually in my life and not just a boyband member that I adore from afar as part of my brand as Francesca Gariano. Let's sit down, relax, and have a little chat about my personal relationship with the very thing that I am using to publish this post on: the internet.

I was born in 1995 and don't really remember not having a computer. I don't know when my parents converted the finished room in our basement into our unofficial computer room, but I don't remember being a kid and not having a desktop computer to do little things here and there on. I remember the horrid noises of dial-up, I remember illegally downloading music with Limewire and having my family's computer and my personal laptop spammed with nonsense ads, pop-ups, porn, and for some reason, the recording of Bill Clinton's declaration of "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" speech. Just to digress for a second, to anyone who used Limewire, do you remember this? Anytime you thought you had found the song you have desperately been looking for and instead of it being a sick tune, it was just fucking Bill Clinton? That was my first bout of disappointment, I'm sure.

I had a laptop of my own in middle school. I had a personal Myspace and a fan page for the Jonas Brothers before it died. I briefly used Xanga when it was on its way out, but had no idea how to use it. Years and years before this blog was born, I used to pretend to blog on Blogger in 2008 and 2009 about my life, similar to how I do now except I wasn't funny and was probably just sad, angry, and stupid. 

2009 and 2010 though were probably arguably the biggest years for me on the internet because this is when I started watching YouTube. I went from watching humorous viral content on YouTube with my brother and cousins when I was a kid to using the website for something else entirely: early beauty "gurus."

I use beauty guru lightly because most of these early "gurus" never really claimed to be them, they were just sort of penned that name because they were girls who put on makeup. In reality, they weren't makeup artists or experts. They were just girls my age who were showing other girls their age or maybe a little younger/older how they did their makeup. I was hooked from the start. I used to watch Sarah Belle, Arden Rose, Lauren Elizabeth, and Meghan Rienks religiously. YouTube is where I learned how to do my hair and makeup and where the early stages of my style evolution started. It's where I got my inspiration to start my own blog (Sarah Belle always talked about Carly/The College Prepster so I started to read her blog and then decided to start my own shortly thereafter). 

I've been on the internet officially for about a decade, but I've grown up on it. My birthday is in that sweet spot where I basically grew up as technology advanced. I don't have a negative relationship with technology, not the way that some people my age and especially the generation that raised me. Of course, when used incorrectly, technology can be a horrifying thing, but a lot of the things people hate the internet for are a reflection of society and to me says more about humans than it does about technology but that's just me...

I digress, this isn't a deep dive into technology in that sense. This, like all of my blog posts, is a selfish reflection of my life with the internet and what it's done for and to me. 

My relationship with the internet has always been directly influenced by a few aspects of my life, as I'm sure it is for many. I used it differently depending on which "phases" I was going through in my life, where my headspace was at mentally and emotionally, and all of the fun pressures of being a teenager and body conscious. It's amazing how a little bit of self-confidence will change the way you look at the things that you see. Things that used to be aspirational to the point of pain are now just pretty things you scroll past that genuinely don't affect you anymore. The comparison game starts to exist less and less and the internet becomes something fun and not toxic again.

I'm not embarrassed to admit that I've met the most and my best friends via the internet. Of course, I have amazing friendships that started from organically meeting, but those friendships are now carried out through the internet after multiple moves of my own and of their own. I have friends I've never met but talk to daily and also people who started as my internet friends and are now part of my main group of friends in New York City.

My job revolves around the existence of influencers and the internet and social media. My hobby relies on all of those things. I'm not trying to say my life wouldn't exist without it, but it would be significantly different and I don't know if it'd be in a good way. 

Beyond the "superficial" things that the internet has given me, without what I discover online, I don't know how much I would have grown over the course of my life. Without the internet, different viewpoints disappear depending on where you live and who you spend your time with. Without the internet, I think I'd learn significantly less than what I learn on a daily basis. This isn't a word I throw around often because, quite frankly, I think it sounds stupid when it comes out of my mouth, but I'd like to think that the internet keeps me what the kids call "woke." 

Do I know anything and everything? Absolutely not. I'm not perfect. I'm going to make mistakes, but I'm also going to accept those mistakes and continue to educate myself through the well-voiced opinions of people I come across on the very thing that people think is dangerous and full of, well, shit.

I'll forever be mindful of what I consume on the internet, but I'm happy I have a place to watch hour-long Vine compilations, post my outfits and thoughts, and learn a thing or two about society.

Sweatshirt: Zara
Skirt: Uniqlo
Boots: Public Desire via ASOS
Purse: Rebecca Minkoff
Sunglasses: Miu Miu 

Photos by Emily Polner


  1. It's so crazy how things change!


  2. Oh my god I freaking love this post. Yes, yes, and double yes. I can totally relate to watching millions of videos when I was in high school. I started a tumblr “blog” (if you can even call it a blog - it was really just me reposting teengage angsty things) around the same time. I think a combination of YouTube and Tumblr is what made me decide to make a blog. I love the creative outlet.

    Also, I definitely agree that our opinions would drastically be different if it wasn’t for the internet. We consume so much media that our parents ever did that it’s kind of hard for us not to form our own opinions.

    Love this post and your outfit!
    Xo Logan


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