I recently came across this Time Out: NY piece thanks to a friend who pegged me as “exactly the person in this story.” (thanks for outing my social media nerdistry, Mar.) My retort was “but I only take pictures of food I make! Not in restaurants!” and “But I’m not on foursquare!” I was only-half joking when I said those as serious reasons for why I’m not the extreme, but I am self-aware enough to know that—well, shit.—I am definitely somewhere closer to extreme than average. I tweet like a motherfucker. I tumbl (for ya!)—is that the proper term?—pictures of precious pooches or owl knick knacks regularly. And I am generally an early-adopter of most things. But the idea that something that makes us all so connected could even possibly be considered a bad thing, bothered me. Granted, I get it to an extent—people who become tourists of their own lives are not really living experiences for themselves but rather for a greater audience that (let’s face it), they probably don’t have. Sometimes it can come across as pretentious: look at me and my fabulous life (I am sure some of the documentations of my own life experiences can come across that way simply because of the industry I work in & the company I work for)!
However, there is—I think—a level of nostalgia that comes along with this. Social media is certainly in our forseeable future & only getting bigger; what better way to document your life to show your kids and grandkids? Every feeling of excitement or unbelievable sight can be documented and kept indefinitely (the internet never forgets!) for you to reminisce over and look back at later. Really, I think a lot of it is rooted in an anticipated nostalgia, a desire to remember that, fuck yeah! we live in this city and we love it and we appreciate every little thing—from the cab driver who pontificates on absurdist politics to the hole-in-the-wall restaurant with the best tacos you’ve ever had, to the street art down by the Wooster Collective—it’s all ours to share and experience and remember. Not to mention the fact that this is a city of transplants. I know that I hear from my mother, my aunts & even my grandmother (I got some savvy geriatrics in the house) how much they love seeing the pictures of what I’m doing out here, all the amazing experiences I’m having, the fun things that fill my everyday life. My mom even told me it gives her a bit of comfort, knowing that she can see all these things I’m doing—maybe it helps with the empty nest business. But you want to share the life you’re living with loved ones—this is just a more tangible way to do that rather than recanting stories over the phone or in a letter (although I an staunchly in the school of letter-writing & still have a penpal I write to regularly—so old school).
So give me shit for being a bit of a lifecaster, it’s fine. Because ultimately I know it’s doing some good on a small scale. Plus, I already have the memory capacity of a sandflea, so you know my ass is going to need all this shit to remember a damn thing I did when I was a young whippersnapper.