I’ve recently had a birthday, and the occasion has sparked a bit of pondering about my age. I’m not admitting a number. I will admit that many people might consider me old because I was a teenager before the invention of Facebook.
Although I’m on Facebook now, I find the lack of social media in the past very comforting. By growing up before Facebook was invented, my immature pranks and crazy actions have been allowed to fade into obscurity, where they belong. My teenage years are recorded only in my memories, a shoebox of mementos, and the photograph albums collecting dust in my mother’s closet.
I’m thankful what happened in the past can stay in the past.
Unfortunately, today’s teenagers and college students won’t share the anonymity I enjoy. Years from now, the young people posting tonight’s party photos may wish they could erase the proof of their past. A job offer from a conservative company may be torpedoed by an inappropriate selfie or images from after a wild party. Status updates that seem embarrassing in retrospect will still be out there in cyberspace for prospective in-laws to find and read and form negative opinions.
Kids posting every tiny event of their lives on Instagram may consider me old. But I’m not haunted by the words I wrote years ago in ill-thought-out status updates. The Internet has no embarrassing images of me with weird hairdos or wearing silly-looking clothes. I know what I looked like and remember the outrageous things I did, but the world doesn’t have a clue.
Hurrah for my lack of history. I’m free of the Ghost of Facebook Past.