A Lesson on Preserving Teenage Angst

I thank the magical man in the sky I am not a teenager living in the digital age. I spent my formative years in the bold colorful era that was the 80’s. I was blinded by hideous neons, driven by a gleeful demeanor of nativity, supplemented by the haphazard use of environmentally disastrous aerosol called “Aquanet” and irregular-applied makeup. On a personal level, there were numerous moments from this period that I am not proud of, but would not take it back whatsoever. One thing is for certain: these moments are documented and will never be seen by anyone, anywhere, at any time. That is because I have them all credentialed in handwritten form, stored in a cloud I like to refer to as my top drawer of my bedroom end table.

The very thought of what my Facebook page would be like if it existed in the ‘80’s is atrocious. My teenage angst would be out there for all to see, because I probably wouldn’t be smart enough to configure the proper privacy settings. During that period, I was experimental with locating my artistic niche, and I was really huge into music of many genres. A lot of mindless doodling took place, many of them had to do with boys, and made no sense to anyone except me and my age group. We had our own set of acronyms and other narratives.

Example:

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Acronyms back in the day: True Love Always and True Love 4ever

These acronyms have faded in popularity, I suppose, but it is wonderful to be able to back on them. They will always be preserved in numerous pages of an assignment notebook that was never used to write down assignments.

Much like Tom Riddle (later to be known as “Voldemart” in the Harry Potter books), I preserved my 16-year old self (And 21. And 32. And etc.) in a heart adorned, lined pages of a diary. This diary was a gift from my father and one of the few items I would locate and take with if my house ever caught on fire. It contains thoughts and observations that will never became a victim of avid search engine manipulations to cater to advertisers and marketers. It will never fall into that hole among other malicious hands. These moments are mine and mine alone and I’ll never be judged for something I had done years ago. It will never be lost in the deep, dark hole of cyberspace.

The diary itself is awfully cheesy, embellished with tiny pink and red hearts and a broken lock. No one tried to “hack” into my diary. It was more or less a cheaply made product of China (fortelling). I started the diary in 1986, and made a note of every observation for the next four years. This practice stopped shortly after marriage, because, you know……life. Once in a while I still make entries when I feel the need to make a desparate and temporary escape. After all, it was a gift from my father, so it’s as if I am speaking to him.

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Gift from my dad. Circa 1986.

Online data is too vulnerable. There are too many things that can go wrong, and with the recent news of Experian’s security breach, I am more cognizant than ever about what I post online. I still have my old typewriter, and received a good grade in typing class, so it would be a shame to let those two things go to complete waste. I can find carbon paper online, so making copies would be a cinch.

I ultimately feel sorry for today’s youth that document their milestones on the likes of Facebook. There is no promise these moments will be available to look back 30 years from now. My moments will be encased on the handwritten blue, green, and pink pages forever.

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