Once upon time, I wrote about how glad I am that the Internet – in its current state – did not exist during my adolescence. I would have had way too much access to information and way too many opportunities to embarrass myself. It’s bad enough that I once sent a boy a pages-long e-mail after he broke up with me; I think it included the sentence, “I hope you do get back together with <name removed, even though I still totally remember it>, and I hope she puts you back on Prozac, because that’s exactly where you belong.” I mean, my god. There’s no way I would have been able to even remotely keep my shit together with things like Facebook and Twitter at my teenage disposal.
I wrote my original “thank god I didn’t really have the Internet” post before I wrote the post about Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” which is partially a shame because they’d really go well together, but it’s partially a good thing because Amanda Palmer did it way better:
“i wonder about this all the time…about what the fuck would have happened if i’d had all these tools of social connection online and ability to broadcast myself at 15.
i would have been SO FUCKED.
i was so eager to connect, so eager to share, so eager to be accepted, that no doubt my life would have been a narcissistic avalanche of facebook updates and groovy hipstamatic self-portraits taken by candlelight on the roof of my parents porch after getting stoned and scribbling on my online journal about how NOBODY FUCKING UNDERSTANDS ME and how I AM SUPPOSED TO BE A ROCK STAR and WHERE ARE THE FUCKING MEN IN THE FUCKING LIMO TO PICK ME UP AND DRIVE ME AWAY FROM THIS GODFORSAKEN SCHOOL AND THESE HORRIBLE PEOPLE WHO DONT UNDERSTAND ME IN THIS GODFORSAKEN SUBURB AND DRIVE ME TO WHEVER ROCK STARS ARE SO I CAN START MAKING MUSIC VIDEOS LIKE CYNDI LAUPER????”
Cyndi Lauper hero worship aside, that’s pretty much verbatim what my Internet life would have said if it had been available to me at the time. As it was, though, I took to writing “MY LIFE IS THE WORST” entries in the page margins of William Blake poetry books, and if you think it can’t get any more pathetic than that, I once lent one of these books to a boy I was hopelessly infatuated with, and when he gave it back to me, he said “Errr, it looks like you did this for attention.” If I could tell the teenagers of the world anything, it would be to stop doing shit that will make their adult selves cringe when they remember it late at night.
There’s At Least a 10-Year Difference Between the Internet and Maturity
Lost Highway, Jeff Buckley
Staying Here, Veronica Falls
Lord Knows Best, Dirty Beaches
Pauline, Eleni Mandell
Devil’s Right Hand, Johnny Cash
You Were Born To Be In Battle, The Old 97’s
Hurricane J, The Hold Steady
So Fuck It, Mission of Burma
Cool To Be You, The Descendents
Heartbeat Song, The Futureheads
Punching In A Dream, The Naked and Famous
5 Chords, The Dears
Is It Done, J Mascis
Something Better, Marianne Faithfull
Little Brown Haired Girls, Frankie Rose and the Outs
Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart), The Stylistics
Kill My Baby, Nick Curran & the Lowlifes
Teenage Love Made Me Insane, The High Dials
Out Of Control, The Foxymorons
Rattle Your Bones, Black Whales
Hey, All You Hippies!, The Low Anthem
I’ll Go Down Swinging, Exene Cervenka with Los Straitjackets
Candy, Iggy Pop
Meth of a Rockette’s Kick, Mercury Rev