I am a child of the 80’s. I found CBs to be fascinating, the fact that you could instantly talk to anybody outside of your usual environment (though they were usually lonely truckers, or creepy guys looking for a victim that matched my description) and used to peruse the phone book finding victims to prank call or even just to have a chat and was always grateful when somebody would take time out of their day to indulge me in a random conversation. I always ached for something outside of my usual environment, to engage with people who had a life different than my own rural girl upbringing and utilized every low tech means of that time that I had to “reach out and touch someone”- much to the annoyance of many people who were perfectly fine with not being “touched” in such a way.
As a teenager and young adult of the 90’s, I didn’t have a camera phone feed into a social networking site to chronicle my adventures or ever changing looks. I think I still have disposable cameras and film tucked away that I hope I can develop someday and post on my FaceBook wall- “Look at how WILD I used to be and adventurous!” I am fortunate to have known some great photographers that chronicled such life events for me and posted those pictures onto web pages, or gave me prints before everyone with a camera decided that they were a photographer and all of the great art got buried in the hubbub of low quality phone pictures, and apps that make recent pictures look like they were taken 20 years ago- during the times I wish I had been able to more easily chronicle and share with the world.
Though I revel in the recent technology, there are times that I feel burned that social networking has taken off during a time in my life where I am more stable and domestic and not as exciting… Sure, it is amusing to shock older friends that I recently caught up with as to how “settled down” I am nowadays and I do have two beautiful children I am happy to show off to everyone, as I am just as excited to see the family pictures of all my friends. At this point in my life, it has made me feel more unified with my fellow humans and allowed me to track down those from the past I thought I would never get to see again, to share in times past or share hope for the future or most importantly- appreciate the present together…
Yet, I see how I have come to take it all for granted… The Me of the Past would be utilizing the internet way more than I have today. The Me of the Past is screaming at Me of the Present, who whines about not being able to find a job that properly utilizes my creative talents, when anything is possible in this new interconnected world. Somewhere along the line, I allowed myself to cuddle up inside a husk of banality and accept all of the great changes of communication in the world as commonplace and not participate in the flurry of blogs and self publishing and youtube videos… not that I don’t passively view and enjoy these self starter projects of others, I just don’t add to the virtual story very much, even though I feel that I have a lot to say/create. It is easy to feel like a mere speck that gets wiped off a dirty monitor, when you see things circulating that you have always said or done becoming memes that someone else made up and get shared among millions of people. It is easy to feel unoriginal or like saying anything at all is pointless because it has already been said and done to death. Yet, there is always a draw for more and more and more… Why not add to the dribble just in case something I say becomes a diamond plucked from the rubble of the already countless blogs and opinions and comments? Or maybe I will just entertain myself and take small satisfaction that my witticisms and reflections are better documented on a blog rather than wasted in a one time status update that gets an “LOL” then scrolled by and never seen again?
One thing that I do have going for me today in regards to utilizing the countless means to ‘socially network’ is- time and wisdom. The Me of the Past likely would have embarrassed herself with the “real time” tools available today, like I see countless young teens and 20 somethings doing today on their blogs and websites. (Hmmm… no, maybe it is not a good idea to post a picture of your butt or to tell off your entire friend’s list while obviously drunk.) I did keep a Livejournal for over 10 years and read through some of it today and cringed a bit- fortunately, I was anonymous and mostly private. There is some gold to be harvested from it and am grateful I can mine for it on my own time today, that it wasn’t as relevant or instantly accessible to everyone. The Me of Today has had plenty of time to reflect on both my successes and failures of the past and is in a comfortable enough place today to know what works or what doesn’t without giving in to impulsive urges. As a Mother of two who cherishes the cozy safe life I have made for us, I will not be risking my reputation and life to do something for sensational purposes. I glorify those who are able to but have come to realize that doesn’t have to be me anymore but I can write about and document their antics to potentially inspire someone else who has the means to do so. I cannot think of a better honor than to play muse to someone who can change the world- or at least change their mindset to one that allows them to break through their own barriers- as I am intending to today by beginning a blog.
I will reflect a bit into my chaotic, wild and sometimes crazy past but with the foresight and restraint that the Me of Today possesses, a lot of which came along with becoming a Mother… and I can share those sentiments as well, maybe offer “life hacks” for other reformed wild children who are becoming assimilated into the straight and narrow without losing their spirit. Whether it has been said a million times before or not at all, at least I know that I am adding my piece into this glorious, swirling mass of information and entertainment that has absorbed us all into it whether we want to be there or not. Better to be active than passive, especially today when everything moves so fast and ideas are being flung about and adapted by others with the click of a mouse. I would rather it be MY voice that speaks for me, not someone else’s. The Me of the Past applauds!
PS: For you youngerlings that don’t know what a “CB” or a “phonebook” is, just “google it”. 😉