The year is 2002, and I am a freshly pimpled preteen whose main concerns in life are popularity and overpriced Abercrombie ripped jeans. Due to my desperation for acceptance, I decided to attend the local high school football game. Like most middle schoolers, I grazed the outside of the track and spent each quarter gossiping, not actually watching the game. It was at this very football game that my crush (who shall remain nameless) asked out one of my best friends.
Of course, at this exact moment it started to rain, and I was left alone on the track with tears welling in my eyes. Straight out of a teen movie — How Cliche.
Immediately, I went home, locked myself in my room, and began blasting emo Evanescence songs. Suffering from my recent heartbreak, I decided to write terrible poems about the situation because let’s face it, MY LIFE WAS RUINED!!! This is where the problem arises…
Remember, the year is 2002. The internet was now an increasingly popular resource among my generation. I spent all of my time on AOL Instant Messenger and the act of sharing every last detail of my life developed into an innate evolutionary trait. Unlike my previous years of furious diary writing, my innermost thoughts were now poured into my Livejournal.
This is what I like to call the “Curse of the Forevernet”. Being part of a generation that was old enough to use the internet but young enough to be completely irresponsible with it left me with a curse. Don’t believe me? One word: MYSPACE.
I spent many years carelessly posting and sharing content that reflects my naivety. I’m not the first person who survived puberty, but the problem is that my experience is more public than the generations before me. I’ve tried my best to delete my accounts, but what is posted on the internet is circulating the inter-webs FOR ETERNITY. My immaturity is now forever embedded on some server, somewhere in the world. I didn’t realize that when I was younger.
Now that I’m “older and wiser” (that’s in quotes because I’m still young and stupid) I wish that I could delete all history of 6th-9th grade. I was always told to be careful what you post, but as a typical preteen lacking frontal lobes, when did I ever think about my actions before I did anything?
Luckily, I was a very well-behaved young cherub who never broke rules, so nothing I posted was too outrageous. Yet, I would be absolutely mortified if anyone ever found a shred of my emotional turmoils of middle school yesteryear. Now I can laugh at my embarrassing past, but there’s still a darker side that reminds me it’s all still out there, somewhere.
To this day, I’m still surprised with some of my friends that unmindfully post things that probably shouldn’t be publicly shared. This isn’t to say I’m not guilty; we’re not all perfect. I’m sure I’ve shared some things recently that may not provide any meaningful value towards my future.
However, my point is that my generation has a cross to bear. We grew up using the internet without questioning it, and as a result we need to be more careful about the way we represent ourselves. It’s okay to be yourself and let your personality shine through — just make sure it’s the personality that you want the world to see for many, many years to come.