I lost my best friend of 18 years over the past 4 weeks.
Don’t worry, I kept Cobar. He is doing better than I expected with Beckys absence. It was rough for him in the fall of 2016, but he’s healed and we are walking every day. It’s just him and I now and he is my responsibility and I am his world.
It has been about a year now since I closed down my Facebook account. No one noticed or questioned my absence. Only one user out of about 200 or so ‘Friends’ noticed and questioned what happened after 48 hours of me closing my account. Only ONE person. It’s not like I am hard to find or hidden. My own web site domains have been online for 15 years. It’s made me feel like I am a shitty person for making the choice of not participating in the Greatest Social Media Entertainment of all time. Which isn’t real.
There soon will be an entire generation that grew up in the age of online. Everything they did in the past will still be with them in the present and into their future. Middle aged people are now facing their children becoming adults, but what did all the middle aged people and their parents do to preserve the past?
Previously people have used photography as a means to preserve the past. You would take yearly Christmas photos, the classic photo op on summer vacations. For many years it was film based photography, which had it’s limits in the cost of the film and then developing the exposed film. This created an artificial scarcity due to the cost. You would treasure those moments and make them special by taking a photograph. Film wasn’t as popular, but it was readily available. They were available for film but it was cumbersome, not very good, no sound, and expensive. This limited the use and created an even greater scarcity of home movies. The first great leap forward for this type of past preservation was the release of video tape recorders and home market cameras. These bulky devices were still in the realm of hobbyist type usage. Then the home market video camera is unleashed. There is now an unprecedented amount of our past preserved on video tape. Most of it was all ignored, pushed off into the closet, collecting dust or forgotten about. Some, or perhaps a lot was over written or stored improperly to be forever in the past.
Is this what we really wanted when preserving the past? To shove it off into a box to be forgotten? People seem to have a tendency to create their own narrative of their life, whether it reflects reality or not. It’s just part of how we work. When we relive the past and then see what we were, that may change or bend the narrative we’ve created for ourselves. How our reaction to it will be different for everyone’s experience and how their experience put them on their path. It’s those gaps of time from the past to the present that gives us this reflection. Now can you imagine, no gap from the past to the present?
There is an emerging generation that has grown up entirely with the Internet and it’s massive ability to preserve, everything. How will this and the preceding generations deal with this shift in how our past is preserved?
I was talking with a friend today about how we are at an age where there is nothing that she wants to buy that she finds interesting or cool anymore. As we were bantering back and forth with our nonsense, that idea kept creeping in my old and busted mind. I had been encoding 20 year old VHS and 8mm video tapes onto my computer and uploading them to YouTube for the past couple of days. I had begin to notice how I was first and foremost an asshole when I was younger. But, another aspect of the idea that, I didn’t know any better then.
Hindsight sure is 20/20, maybe even more clearer as you age. My friend and I couldn’t really figure out what new and cool gadget would actually be useful. When we were younger, we would spend inordinate amounts of money on complete nonsensical bullshit. Were all these new gadgets and stuff we spent time and money on training us to finally come to the realization that it’s just all a bunch of crap? Was it’s some sort of panacea for us? Or was it to pacify ourselves into self assuredness? Now that we are 20 years older we see the man behind the curtains and all the crap for what it really is; It’s crap.
I feel weary about so much push to consume, consume and consume some more. The new promising technology of 3D object printers sounds like a great idea. But what do I need a 3D Printer for? To print out more plastic trinkets? I already have so much plastic useless trinkets already, do I need more? This is where my age is either against me, or as I said earlier, the curtain has been revealed and I see it for what it really is. Bullshit.