I was one of those girls.
Obsessed and in love, I was willing to do any hair brained stunt for the chance at a backstage pass to meet the five hotties of the music sensation ‘N Sync.
I was too young for New Kids on the Block (although I love Donnie Wahlberg on The Wahlburgers). The Backstreet Boys were a little too risqué for my mom to condone. The members of 98 degrees, including Nick Lashay, originated in Ohio and I owned their CD and enjoyed their music. But they were nothing compared to my passion for ‘N Sync. My knowledge for all things ‘N Sync led me to many different Internet websites (in the early ’90s Internet was still in its infancy) and I forged new and interesting friendships that have helped prepare me for my experiences with Twitter.
The ’90s experienced an explosion of boy bands including New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, 98 Degrees, O-Town, LFO and many others. Even though I’ve experienced it, I don’t understand the hold a group of good looking, sweet singing men have on budding teenagers. Although I was over the top obsessed (my college dorm room was papered with posters and pictures I ripped from Teen Bop and Tiger Beat) I was not alone in my obsession.
I discovered a group of similarly obsessed girls on the Internet (as I was discovering the Internet itself) and was amazed that I could connect with so many people who truly understood me. My dad didn’t understand my obsession and commented quite often that he thought I was nuts in the head. My younger brother poked fun at me and even my mom sighed when I went hysterical at the sight or mention of ‘N Sync, commandeering the TV so everyone in the house had to stare at the five men I planned to marry.
Having someone who understood me was a powerful feeling and I loved these girls like they were my best friend. I joined an e-mail list where all participants had access to the forum. You just sent an e-mail and everyone on the list would receive it in her inbox. If you wanted to join the conversation you just replied to the e-mail, and pretty soon your opinions on Justin’s hair color and Lance’s kiss with Kathy Griffin were on the World Wide Web for everyone to see.
I would race home from school and jump in my Inbox, devouring the 50 or so new messages I had daily. This prepared me for the overwhelming flood of tweets in my Twitter account. As a writer, I am trying to make my name recognizable and build a following. I follow back most people who follow me first and now have over 200 people on my following list. While this is an important step I take to keep followers, I find it hard to actually read what people are tweeting about. I don’t have time to read all of the tweets that flood my account and sometimes I miss important (or at least interesting) tweets of the people who I am most interested in what they have to say.
The end of my e-mail list adventure came during the summer between my sophomore and junior years in high school. My family moved to a new house, and we were without Internet for three or four days. By the time I got settled in and was able to return to my read my e-mails, my Inbox blew up. There were so many new e-mails I couldn’t keep track of the conversations that were constantly pinging in my Inbox. Because I hadn’t read the previous posts, I had no idea what people were responding to. I finally grit my teeth and deleted three days’ worth of unread e-mails, the worst day in the period I call my ‘N Sync life.
Looking back, the friendships I formed in the ‘N Sync loving teeny bopper community really prepared me for my recent foray into understanding social media. Without Justin Timberlake and the gang, I might not be such a Twitter enthusiast! And what a loss the world would experience, if I didn’t know how to share my feelings with an interesting and succinct tweet.
My love for #Nsync never died. Love @jtimberlake @LanceBass @JoeyFatoney @JCChasez @IamCKirkpatrick