So I heard her voice for the first time in years and it was awesome. I wouldn’t say I forgot how it feels to reach a friend across the chasm of space and time, but it’s shocking every time. I know that if you’re reading this, you are probably old enough to understand how that feels and that few things in life are more electric than that feeling. On that note, however, I do want to discuss why I am moving my “show” into the blog format.
Recently, I met a girl who has worked very hard to not have a digital footprint and her resolve and reasons have stirred up many old thoughts in my head. It seems that kids, these days, like in my days, want an audience to perform for. Toddlers are entertaining when they don’t know you’re watching, but they try so much harder when they know 2-10 adults are watching. Facebook and “Social Media” have provided a stage upon which children perform daily. Having worked a lighting booth, I can tell you that keeping some things hidden and controlling the audience’s attention with a spotlight is all part of the performance. It breaks my heart to think of all these people as being actors in their own lives. Living for the cheer of the crowd is no way to live.
She’s a true sweetheart, but we snuck a girl into a bar for her sweet 16 to watch an amazing band that we knew she’d die for, but it was in an NYC basement and it was abundantly clear that the lack of cell phone signal in the place upset her. I know she enjoyed the show very much, but sadly I also know that she lost some of the experience because it wasn’t on facebook. I understand the desire to share experiences with friends, but clicking the share button isn’t that. Never let the lack of an audience make you enjoy the show any less.
Putting my experiences with these three girls together I am more able to clarify what I am choosing to do about my digital footprint. I am going Hollywood. Facebook is like Broadway. You put on a show and the audience cheers. Then you do it again. I think I’m sick of putting on shows like I’m a trapped killer whale at Sea World. I am now going to focus on dancing when no one’s watching and leaving footprints in concrete. What will be left of me, in the digital world, will be much more thought out and intentional than an ad lib. I hope it will be more edited and produced than a stage performance. I hope it will bring a reality all its own, like Avatar or Finding Nemo. I hope that by speaking in a blog voice I can make my experiences 3d and relatable to you.
So without analogy and flourish: I will be leaving a digital footprint, but it will not be the tracks of every step I’ve taken in my life. I will leave a path, blazed through the jungle of life. There will be signs along the trail and sights to see. I invite you to take this safari hike and learn about things along the way. Learn things about me, about life and about yourself. This will not be the path I have walked, but the path I have made to share with others.
The first sight on our tour is this entry. What is important to learn at this stop is I have trouble speaking without analogy and flourish. Maybe one day I’ll explain why it is I do that. It is an incredibly important part of me, so I guess I should.