The Internet — unlike, say, writing on a piece of paper — is forever. So you're forgiven for having anxiety about what your future kids might uncover when they Google you. Luckily for me, having a social media account didn't quite become a "thing" until I was about 21 (which is when I started my first MySpace page, but more on that later), so there isn't much of a digital footprint from when I was a teenager and most of my Internet time was spent playing Diablo II (no, I was not cool). But for teens now, it's a totally different landscape. Everything you do is online. For the past nine years of my life too, every little thing has been recorded. And it's not all pretty.
For my generation, Googling parents is futile. Making fun of their past is usually just pulling out old photo albums and making jokes about your dad's handlebar mustache or insisting that yes, that definitely is a joint in your mother's hand as she casually wears bell bottoms like she was born to wear them. There isn't a record of their every thought, their failed attempt at jokes, their cultural observations and emotional recesses online like there is for our generation, and the generation following us. Our kids are going to have a lot more to reveal about us than some old grainy college photos. Here are some things that probably exist on the Internet that you hope your future kids NEVER find:
1. Your MySpace
My MySpace is hilarious. For starters, my friends are IN ORDER from best to worst. What even is that? Everything is pink and Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield" plays, instantly crashing shitty 2006 browsers. My "about me" makes some meaningful declarations. And I can't delete it because I don't know the password and I no longer have the email that I used back then, which means my MySpace is there for all eternity. I bet yours is too. And I bet you haven't thought about it in YEARS, and now you're panicking and looking it up to see how bad this situation could really be.
2. All Those #Feels Posts
When I started my career as a writer I wrote lots of #FEELS posts on both my personal Tumblr and for websites for compensation. They are the embarrassing, suffocating, grand #FEELS of a woman in her early twenties and I really do hate that they exist forever. Sure, I can delete my Tumblr, but I can never delete the things I was paid to write and so they shall remain, forever in the archives of various popular websites.
3. Compromising Party Photos
Of course there are photos of you as a younger person with a bottle in each hand, makeup smudged, mouth wide open, looking like an absolute drunk lunatic. When these photos are going up, you think they're great, a sign of how much fun you're having. As you sober up/get older, you realize those photos are going to be on the Internet, representing you, forever. And if your kids find them, you're not going to have a leg to stand on when you give them the drugs and alcohol talk.
4. All Your Opinions That Have Since Changed
Remember when you were young and mad about EVERYTHING but then you grew up and learned more things and gained perspective and just became a more well rounded person with more educated views? Yeah, if you remember that, you probably remember the ill advised blog posts spouting opinions you no longer hold, because you know, personal growth and all that. Just hope those things don't come back to bite you.
5. That Really Low Budget "Web Series" You Made
Oh yeah ... That old thing. While you thought you were being enterprising and self starting, years from now it's going to be a source of mirth for your children who are looking for dirt on you.
6. All Your TMI Tweets/Facebook Status Updates/Blog Posts
In our confession culture, nearly everyone has put TMI on the Internet at least once. For me, it's writing openly about sex. For others, it might be emotional status updates, trolling comments, or divulging a little too much about poo on Twitter. This is the kind of stuff that, in the future, will make your kids embarrassed to be seen with you.
Images: Disney; Giphy (6)