Memories [NaBloPoMo 24]

Monday, August 24, 2015 / 5:16 AM

Facebook's "On This Day" feature has provided both entertainment and a sharp sting. A bit of nostalgia to start each day can be OK, but there are some reminders that I'm not sure I care to see--that post from an ex-friend/boyfriend, that reminder of an event I pretended to enjoy, those statuses that make me cringe (remember when you had to complete the "[name] is..." format?).

Looking back on these posts, I can't help but think: if someone were to reconstruct a timeline of my life, would they base their assumptions on my Facebook timeline? Because...that would be somewhat worrisome. Take today, for instance:

On this day five years ago, I was celebrating waffles (which I plan to do again today):

Four years ago, I was laughing/blogging about, and sharing, this.

Three years ago, I was welcoming a former friend to New York City. We aren't Facebook friends anymore, but the status remains alive and kicking.

Two years ago, I was listening to Ann Curry inspire an audience at my first AAJA convention, hosted in New York:

One year ago, I became friends with a lot of new people:

And today...what will I do? What will I choose to share?

That's the thing, isn't it? What if I didn't share it? Would I not remember what happened? I have memories of August over the last few years, but nothing too specific...does that mean those things didn't matter? Of course not. But that's the thing about social media these days, right? These networks serve like a diary, and we're almost expected to overshare. 

Despite these blogs and my various social networks, there's plenty I don't share. It doesn't mean those moments weren't significant. Part of me wishes I hadn't nuked my Xanga or Myspace so I could dig back into those memories too because I'm positive they were filled with interesting--albeit strange--anecdotes. I used to keep a written diary, and occasionally I still put pen to paper to get my thoughts out. (Shameless plug: go check out my friend Cortney's blog where she was chronicling her old diaries. Cortney is a guest blogger this week on this blog too!)

This all makes me think about why I choose to share what I share online. Or what I choose not to share, and why. I wish I had an answer. If all you knew about me was what I presented online, then the "real me" is buried somewhere in the real world. And, honestly, that's a little comforting in those moments when I don't love my reality. It doesn't make it healthy, but damn if it doesn't make me feel OK.

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