Steve’s introduction to social media started off as Tony’s idea of a joke. After he’d been out of the ice for a few months, Steve was irritatingly well-adjusted, and Tony couldn’t resist pushing a few buttons. So, one day, Steve got a message on his S.H.I.E.L.D. email (“Email!? You understand email?” “Of course. It’s just like a telegram on a screen.”) with a link to a site called tumblr. The post he’d been directed to is part of a blog apparently run by a history major looking for a place to scream about WWII. Some of the post made reference to books and documentaries that he didn’t know about, though he supposes they must be rather popular since she never goes into great detail. However, from what he was able to parse, the author was insinuating that perhaps he and Bucky had been a bit more than childhood pals. (The exact wording being: “I’ve seen the old reels, and let me tell you; that is not a smile you give your buddy. Barnes and Rogers were the gal pals of the twentieth century, okay?”)
He blushes and makes a mental note to get Stark back later, but…his interest is piqued. This girl has really done her work. It’s actually a little alarming how accurately a total stranger has pegged him, but in the same breath, it’s sort of nice. Even after the serum, nobody seemed all that interested in Steve Rogers. Other than Bucky and Peggy, it was all about Captain America, and after his “death” he became a symbol, warped and tainted by the years until he didn’t resemble himself anymore. But as he scrolled down through more posts, it was clear that whoever was behind this blog knew who Steve Rogers was, or was at least making an effort to figure it out.
Two hours later, he had six tabs open and was buried deep in the Captain America tag, alternating between enraged and delighted as he read through the debates about everything from his political leanings to his mental health. He desperately wanted to respond. Both to set a few records straight and to thank the dedicated historians that looked at the man behind the shield.
“Natasha,” he called across the common room.
“Hmm?” she looked up from her book and raised an eyebrow.
“Can you help me with something?” The look on her face as she strode over was one he’d grown accustomed to since his de-icing. It was the one that said “Be nice to grandpa, he doesn’t know any better.” Clearly, she was expecting to explain how to run a Google search or something equally self-explanatory, but instead, he asked: “How do I reply to this?” and pointed at one of the posts.
“Oh. Um…for starters, open a new tab.” She walked him through the process and a few minutes later, steve-g-rogers was up and running. Natasha helped him post a picture of himself waving hello into the webcam with a little bio beneath it, and explained how to tag it so that people would see.
It exploded overnight, hundreds and then thousands of followers accumulating as bloggers found out that it was the real Captain America debunking their research. He stayed up into the early morning, correcting the most blatantly wrong posts and answering piles of questions, some about how he was getting by in the future and “dude, you know tumblr?” mixed in with some serious ones about what life was really like in the thirties and forties. Finally, he reached out and messaged the blogger that had sparked his interest, confiding she had hit pretty close to the truth, and “Please don’t publish this, I need to gather my wits a bit more before I’m ready to put it out there, but yes. There was more. For me, at least, it was more. And thank you. Not many people seem to remember that I’m a person before I’m a symbol.”
From there, Steve’s internet exploration took off. As he branched out more on tumblr, he found himself taking up art again, posting pictures of cartoons he drew in staff meetings or sketches of the other Avengers. Even a few of Bucky that he did from memory. Eventually, there were so many that he made an instagram account, where he also started posting photos of the New York skyline as seen from Stark Tower. The caption on the first one read: “Ugly building, beautiful view.” Once he feels caught up enough on political issues to weigh in, he sets up a twitter. He completely forgoes the usual “Hello, this is my first tweet” route and opens with: “@GOP: FDR’s New Deal “handouts” saved half my neighborhood. #Captain America is not your conservative puppet.” The media goes nuts.