Sam McPheeters and I are the same age. We didn’t know each other growing up. He grew up in New York, and I grew up in Wisconsin. We didn’t meet until about 1991, when his band was on tour and came through town, and then again when my band was on tour and we played together in D.C. It was a good show… A memorable show.
There was no World Wide Web back then… I didn’t connect with Sam through some social networking site. We met people in person, bands went on tour, people traveled, we published zines (think blogging, but on paper, delivered by the USPS.) And most of all, we had some degree of privacy. I mean, if you wanted someone in New York to see a picture of something, you had to get some film developed, and either mail it to them, or put it in your zine and hope that somehow they got a copy. It’s weird to think publishing was to a small, select audience, instead of, you know, to the entire world, as it is now.
So Sam and I are of the age where all the stupid stuff we did in our youth was not put up for all to see on Facebook, or Twitpic or some other web site where in less than 5 minutes your embarrassment can be shown to the world. (At least, it wasn’t then, but thanks to the future, it could show up, right now, today!)
In Screwed by Search Sam touches on the topic:
I know now that there is an angry, overweight black woman lurking over everything I do. Her name is The Internet, and she will not rest until every self-inflicted pie strike has been chronicled, archived, and exposed for all to see.
We didn’t grow up online, but we’re here now, and we’re the last generation who can say that. Kids today are growing up used to living their lives online. It’s completely normal. In fact, when I met a college kid a few months back who didn’t use Facebook, everyone thought he was a weirdo.
It’s obviously your destiny. What can you do besides accept it?