Borne Back Ceaselessly into the Past

I am on Facebook. I am searching through photos of old friends, old lovers, old colleagues. I am reading detailed summaries of people who should be buried in my past.

It is the end of 2008, and I have over 800 documented friends. The word itself has been entirely stripped of any meaning.

memories-brainThe collection of evidence is emotionally splintering. It is not natural to collect intimate knowledge of the hundreds or thousands of humans we come in contact with. Mankind survived an entire existence of letting the past be past– it is how we evolved. I wonder what the repercussions of the myriad information will be on our psychological development. I wonder where this will take us as a species.

We were once allowed to build memories and purposely enact our favorite verb: to forget.

I stay on Facebook because it wouldn’t make a difference if I cut myself off. You can’t cut yourself off in New York. It doesn’t matter if I’m a part of it or not: everyone has access to everyone else now, and we all desperately want to know one anothers secrets.

And I feel terrible, just terrible, wanting them.


3 responses to “Borne Back Ceaselessly into the Past

  1. “Mankind survived an entire existence of letting the past be past– it is how we evolved”
    I don’t know how true that is, we adore the past. Or at least we adore retelling the past with all the boring bits left out. A culture’s fables, stories and myths are just the past made exciting.

  2. It’s a time waster, and a good, addictive one at that. But I disagree: You CAN cut yourself in New York when you want to. For starters, make your profile viewable only to your friends and be very selective when it comes to accepting friend requests.

    Of course there’s always being a recluse in your house for days or deleting your Facebook account altogether…

    …but it IS New York, after all.

  3. I find this terribly amusing because I too have felt that same, dare I call it wonderful, pang of interest at all of my so called ‘friends’. What a tangled web we weave.

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