You guys. Think about this for a second. Kids today have it harder than we realize, just in different ways than it was for us. They have to deal with social media, constant communication from their friends on their phones, and… the internet. Oh boy. If I was a teenager today, I would be constantly embarrassing myself. Not that I don’t do that already.
I’ll unpack that. I’ve always been someone who, when I find something I like, I go all out. I have to know everything about it, get all of the stuff, learn every little detail. I get so that I tend to ignore other stuff that I like for about four months, and just watch/listen to the latest obsession. Then, after a while, it gets filed back with the others, until another thing comes at me that I get obsessed with.
That trait of mine really came into the forefront as a teenager. When I discovered music, The Beatles hit me HARD. I mean, Obsessive. It went on for years. I wanted to read every book ever written on them, put up tons of pictures, bought every tape I could afford, talked about them all the time. Can you imagine if I had social media back then? When I didn’t know how to control these kind of things so I’m not constantly berating people with my obsessions? And when it’s on the internet, it’s there FOREVER. You might think you deleted that post, but it’s somewhere in the internet.
Every embarrassing thing about my life, on the internet for all to see, instead of in a little notebook in a shoebox under my bed. I used to like a boy, and every day in my little journal I would write down what he wore that day. I’d write about the crushes I had on musicians (for some reason I had a big one on Mike Mills from REM), I’d write out lyrics I liked… can you imagine if that was on an ONLINE BLOG for other people to read?! And I would have been so proud of it at the time, because like most kids, I was an idiot.
And I was sensitive to criticism then (well, I still am, but now I’m adult..kind of). A negative internet comment would have ruined my week, if not my month. Now I can kind of brush it off, although I will do my best to “take the high road” to make them feel bad. I didn’t know how to do that then. I would have probably just cried. I wouldn’t have had any snappy comeback or anything. Now, kids can’t avoid that kind of thing. Sure, they can stay off social media, but… is that really an option these days? Inevitably they’ll be drawn in. It’s almost an essential part of life in the age of the internet. I’m even REQUIRED by my job to have social media accounts.
I’m so glad that my embarrassing teenage years are at least hideable. My old journals are long gone (burned in fire), and most of the embarrassing crap I said and did I can manage to forget (thanks, box wine!). But today…. they can’t. Because it’s there for all to see and download and keep on their phone.
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