Someone once warned that I was becoming a worse person. Of course, I pretended to ignore them. It’s easier to give than take that kind of cutting honesty. But, as time passed, I watched my transformation. And, discounting my devilishly good looks, I’d say maturity did a number on me.
Only maturity in its most literal sense. My generation is one of extended adolescence.
I assume midway into my twenties is the right time for something like this revelation. What is most striking is the plasticity of personalities between teens and adulthood. The events that mold a person can vary from seemingly inconsequential to clearly demarcating. My shape has changed so drastically, it’s surprising I have started to cast cohesively.
Choo, choo, all aboard the metaphor train! Next stop, evasiveness.
“And what did we find? You were amazing! You were so pointlessly complicated! And yet it wasn’t pointless; you were amazingly robust. And the forgetting!” I worry that we won’t teach the hive mind how to forget. A copy of almost every online communication I have ever made is sitting on tara. I used to be camera shy; but, a stream of saved digital pictures has been steadily building.
I was born just in time to have a few years of adolescence before the Internet. Look even one year earlier, and you’re falling down the plateau of penetration. Anyone older then 24 isn’t on the ‘net like someone who is 15 - with neither group comparing with the average college educated 21 year old. And, unless someone takes back the digital revolution, the average individual will soon make Steve Mann appear macabre. Recording your own life is conceited - we share each others’ lives!
In a few days, a very personal Google dance shall finish and another name will fall almost totally off the public grid.
That’s an example of backlash. Some try to leave the purview of search engines hoping to stem the flow. The hot-topic is “privacy” because we’re still worried about our secrets, mistakes and image. But, I’m concerned about our mental health. There are social pressures to exist online. In ten years, my current existence shall be as easily recalled as the “me” from last week. Noone has perfect memory; but, noone could open perfectly preserved mail, pictures, and movies. Even the best diaries weren’t rich media.
An elementary school teacher of mine had her classes write letters to themselves in the future. She mailed them ten years later. When I received my letter, I choked up. metaldave, do you think your future students could understand that?
Digital memory isn’t the point of this post.
I don’t think my adolescent self could recognize me. Too few of the traits he thought were positive mattered. Too many of the negative traits received attention. He was right about surrounding himself with people he envied. But, he could never had understood the ramifications. And, I can say these things with conviction because it’s too easy to remember. I’m not who I thought I should be, as an adult has different demands than a child. He wouldn’t like me if I was honest to him. But, who is honest to a 15 year old?
My personality is an example of unapologetic worse is better.