Dear Diary,

As you, of all people, would know, I’ve never been a jotter downer of my own thoughts. In fact, I’ve always considered that practice to be an extremely dangerous undertaking. Entries in any diary of mine were confined to comments on the weather and my social calendar. Never would I venture into the maelstrom of human relationships, for fear that people would find out that the sweet, eager to please teenager that they knew was really a hard and critical bitch. Inevitably, lacking any form of juicy content or gossip, gaps in my diary started to appear. Just the odd day to begin with, but then a week here and a week there until the whole enterprise was finally abandoned.

With Social Media, my dear diary, we do not have to fear that our innermost thoughts will be discovered by nosy Parkers who ought to know better than snoop into people’s personal belongings. (Don’t they know they will never read anything good about themselves? It’s just as bad as eaves-dropping.) No, indeed, on Social Media, we put our best foot forward, create a dynamic and cool elevator statement and try to show, in comments, pictures and memes, that we have been most places, done most things, know most stuff, but still have a very cool bucket list. (A week in Antarctica, swimming with sharks, base-jumping.) Our status is important and people need to care if we change it. God forbid our external image and banal postings could be ignored.

It’s not that I don’t do Social Media. I have all the accounts. I just don’t find them interesting enough to write about. I could go so far as to say that I love Pinterest! It’s like having your own unlimited credit card to collect everything you like from around the net and juxtapose them in a very pleasing manner. It’s vicarious retail therapy, and it can be addictive. It has a creative and artistic appeal that other Social Media sites don’t have. But I can’t say I feel in any way connected to my Pinterest pinners.

And then there are the dots. Mostly red dots. You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re not just on Pinterest, they’re everywhere. There must be some deep psychology behind them which harks back to the days of our childhood, when we were learning to write and craved a gold star in our writing books. It is quite depressing to be dot-deficient. Like any child needing attention, we just cannot get enough of them. I will not be surprised if this dot-deficiency becomes a diagnosable disease. And that’s really all I have to say about Social Media, except to wonder why they all choose a dot – why not a square or a star, or a cute little cat?

So dear diary, if I am to complete the Writing 101 task for today, I am going to have to take the last resort yet again – yes, you guessed it, it’s about the things we leave behind. And dear diary, I’m sure I did leave you behind. I neglected you and abandoned you. I feel disappointed for the relative who may come across you, falling apart in some dusty basement of the future, hoping to find the key to some important question; the reason for some recently discovered family dysfunction; the source of some whispered scandal or a blow by blow account of the break-down of a certain relationship with devastating results. Only to find the fascinating information that it rained all day on Friday.

Will things be any different when the children go looking into the archives of their ancestors tweets and Facebook pages?

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8 thoughts on “Writing 101 Day 17: Mine your own material

  1. I want to find my old diary, the one I know I kept, but can’t find it. I know it is here somewhere, but where. I know my writing has gotten better than what I scribbled in there. Until blogging I was never interested in diaries and journals.

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  2. Thanks for your insights–as always delivered with humor and grace….Realized a long time ago that I wished I hadn’t tossed my diary…at least I won;t have to worry what the relatives will find, since unlike you, I spilled my guts to my “Dear Diary” friend. God bless you!!!

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