Before Facebook, in another life time, there was a website called Myspace. I loved Myspace. The internet seemed to spring up out of nowhere and change from a bit of a gimmick into the essential tool it became in a very short space of time. It was like one day I was at school unsure of what to do on the internet and trying to think of a cool website to go to before waiting five minutes for it to load and then not much later we’re all constantly online and connected and wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves without it. The full impact of how much the internet had changed things became apparent when I was 18 years old and had moved away to Liverpool for University. We all had MSN Messenger and though we all lived far apart we could talk constantly when we were in our separate flats through out the UK. It still wasn’t like how it is now where this technology has improved and evolved and now fits in our hands but it was still mind blowing at the time.
Then came social media. Myspace and Bebo were around before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and all the rest. Myspace was just incredible. We all had our own website page and we could decorate it however we wanted, upload pictures, post comments, post bulletins, have our profile songs, fill in quizzes, send private messages to friends. And write blogs. Before this blog here there was that blog there over at Myspace. These words were written from the ages of 18 to 21. Eventually Facebook came along to compete with Myspace and although I got a Facebook profile I was so loyal to Myspace until well into 2008 even when it became obvious that Facebook would overtake and destroy Myspace. But there came a day when I felt compelled to leave Myspace forever as I wanted to close a chapter of life fully and firmly. I’m pretty sure the date was the 15th August 2008 and on this day I went to see friends in Liverpool for a week determined to look to the future. The way I got rid of Myspace ensured I could never log back in. It was attached to my University email which was about to be closed since I’d left University by then. I changed my password to a random line of letters and numbers and wrote them down on paper so that I could then type them back in to confirm the password change. Then as I walked to the train station to go to Liverpool with a cigarette I burned the paper so I’d never know the password and never be able to get an email to recover the password since I was about to lose access to the email address. So dramatic. Typical of me.
None of that would really matter. It’s only a social media site and anyway, everybody had gone to Facebook now. What really mattered to me though was the blogs I wrote. There must have been over 100 and though I remember many of them were total crap where I just moaned about lack of motivation and worries for the future like I do now, at the time I felt like I’d also written some good things about how I felt and come to many realisations. I always feel that through each blog post as you go through time you can see yourself slowly evolve and grow as a person. The Uni years were a huge chapter for me. But all was cool. Myspace still existed and though I could never log in I could still go onto my Myspace page and view the blogs. Though I never did really visit and re-read them I planned to one day copy them all and save them somewhere else. But then Myspace changed it’s whole layout and became some really crap music site that nobody cares about and all blogs and profile layouts were gone. That sucked. I was so annoyed. I guess once we share stuff on a website it belongs to them in a way and they can do whatever they like.
Recently though I decided to attempt to get back logged in and see if they could be recovered as they must be somewhere. I had to fill in a form and explain the change in email and wait for a few days but they sorted it out and linked me back to my old page. I logged in and it’s sad to see Myspace is what it is now. But they have an option to request your old blogs for download. Obviously I clicked that option. After a week they email me to say they’re available for download and yay I have them back! My plan was to post them all here on a separate page tab of this WordPress blog but I thought I’d re-read them first. I’m so glad I didn’t just post them without re-reading them because holy crap I was nuts back then. It gave me a lot to think about and I’ll try so sum it up here now.
Firstly I was surprised at how many blogs I’d wrote. I must have been writing them every couple of days at some points. The next thing that I couldn’t believe was that in the earlier one’s I wrote many words in text speak. That is something that I hate and I would never do now and never thought I ever did do in the past but there it was. Doing was doin. Something was sometimes sumfink. Also, I cannot believe how much swearing there was. It shows a lack of vocabulary really. The thing is you’d think I was at the peak of my intellect then since I’d only just left school and college and other than Maths I’ve done nothing academically since and had no reason to write other than messages to people and blogs. Yet I re-read what I wrote and it’s like I was totally dumb as hell back then. And naive. I thought I knew it all. I was self-centred in a really annoying way. I was brutally honest and gave too much away. It’s clear that I’m a different person now. It’s for others to judge if we change for the better or not but I did not like much of what I read that I’d wrote.
One thing I never do now is sit down to write a blog without a clue about what I will write. If you have nothing to say then just keep quiet. Sometimes I have things that I want to write about and that is when I write. Back then I remember sometimes just feeling like I’d write a blog for something to do so I’d click on the option to write one and just sit there and think of sentences to write. And so much of it is just mundane, self-centred crap. The earliest posts are raps that I wrote. I read them now and cringe. The influence of Eminem shows far too much. The rhyming is nothing special and there’s that honesty that is just too much. Some things are better left unsaid but I didn’t care for that back then. It’s that rap influence mixed with my youthful naivety that gave me the attitude of wanting to “be real” and “not giving a fuck”. Now I doubt many are truly “real” and I most definitely do care what people think. Surely we all do and I know I did back then though I felt like I needed to act like I didn’t.
Some of the blogs are decent snapshots of what was going on at the time and brought some memories flooding back. That was cool. Though I get angry at myself now when I read about how I knew I should care more about exams and start thinking about a career but was too busy getting wasted all the time and laying around doing nothing. At that age you feel as if you have such a huge amount of time ahead of you that you can afford to piss around and future you will pick up the pieces. Well present me is pissed off with past me for not giving a fuck about future me. It’s interesting that sometimes I seemed to realise that if I don’t feel ambitious whilst doing my degree then maybe my ambition was already dead. Some self-awareness seems to creep in throughout these blogs. Some nihilism and philosophy start to creep in throughout the anger and confusion. Themes of anti-theism start to dominate later blogs. I attempt to write chaotic things where I contemplate what it would be like to lose grip on reality. Some of these blogs still interest me now and it is interesting to see how I went from mostly writing rants aimed at people and the World and gradually seemed to calm down and become more reflective. It’s evidence of growing as a person which we all do during that period of life.
The present me has changed his mind when it comes to how much of our thoughts we should put on social media. I think it’s daft when people are so wrapped up in their own world that they almost put every waking thought out there for everybody to see. Being self-centred and narcissistic is quite a lame characteristic to indulge in. It can go too far when we’re tagging ourselves in every step of our day and living life through a lens rather than our own eyes. And the past me reminded me of these character traits that I dislike so much. Every few days just going on about problems like anybody cares. It’s like people on Twitter just spewing out nonsense believing there are legions of fans hanging on to every word and just waiting for the next episode in the drama of life. But life is mundane. Nobody is really interested in what we’re up to or what we’re going through or what we’re thinking. That’s not cynical – it’s just truth. We scroll down our social media homepage and barely pause except to look at a gif of a kid getting knocked over by a dog so we can have a chuckle. We may throw a few “likes” out and comment on a few things but the vast majority of what every person and every page posts is just garbage and doesn’t impact our lives in the slightest. It’s good to realise this as we grow as people. It keeps us humble. Don’t moan because there are people worse off than you and nobody cares. Don’t brag because your life is mostly shit and nobody cares. Stay humble. Keep your darkest secrets and inner-most desires to yourself and outwardly give support or occasionally criticism to those around you. That is how I now feel it is best to behave on social media. Not like back in the day when I didn’t give a fuck and would attack and attack like a keyboard gangsta and moan and grumble and whine and bitch that the world didn’t understand me. Being understood is overrated. I felt a need to defend myself to a world that barely even registers I exist let alone gives a damn about the alleged complexities of my own daft mind. It’s an absurd thing to do to defend oneself in such a way. Nobody’s watching anyway and that’s true for us all. We spend too much time worrying about what others think not realising that others are just thinking of themselves and worrying what others think of them. We don’t give others much thought and yet think that is not the same when it comes to you because you’re special and people are shocked by you or confused by you or amazed by you. Nobody cares. I’m disappointed in myself that I didn’t grow up and learn this stuff more quickly. But I was young and foolish as we all are at some point.
Still though I am glad I wrote them. It’s good to compare and contrast. You get to see where some parts of you faded away and where some parts of you began. Some of them are so cryptic I barely even know what I was writing about now but there is the odd interesting point I make in the vast ocean of overly dramatic insanity. I think I will post a few of the ones that aren’t too cringe-worthy or incriminating. I like the philosophical ones I did. But most will be locked away in the labyrinth. I’m now pretty glad that Myspace took them all down. It was pretty cool though to take a trip down memory lane and though we should never live in the past it’s ok to visit from time to time and I’ve always travelled back more easily with words than pictures. And that’s why I write these things. It’s all about the snapshots. One day I’ll be 40 years old and re-reading these and cringing but remembering and comparing and contrasting. We’re always learning and ever growing. Some people say never look back. But how do you know which way is forwards if you don’t know where you’ve been and how do you know what to leave and what to take with you?