Time Traveling With Facebook

If Facebook and social media were around when I was in high school, I would've been toast

Photograph by Getty Images

I've kept a diary since 1976, when I was 10; my life back then was filled with a lot of concern over the seating arrangement at school, and what was happening with Laverne and Shirley.

My high school diary reveals more pressing drama, such as how to ride to the roller-skating rink while keeping one's Jordache jeans as tight as possible (hint: lie flat in the back seat while your disapproving mom drives) and what style class ring to buy.

My high school diary also reveals another hint: I was a giant, giant tool. In one entry, I say I'll "absolutely die" if my boyfriend loses interest in me, and the next day I write that I might dump him because there are so many other interesting men gracing the halls of my school. There's also an entry where I list all of my assets, from thick hair and straight teeth to a nice stereo and, yes, I even list that class ring as one of my alluring assets.

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But these mildly cringe inducing glimpses of my teenage self is why I'm thankful to all that is holy and merciful that there wasn't Facebook when I was in high school — to say nothing of my relief that Girls Gone Wild didn't exist during my college years. Because, my thinking-I'm-funny exhibitionism combined with delicious keg beer? WOOOOOO! Shirt lift!

My point is: I'm shallow enough on Facebook now, what with my looking at old boyfriends and smiling smugly when I note the increasing chubbiness of a woman I never liked at my last job. My high school tool-ishness is already shining through dangerously.

Let's just say that I didn't have what you'd call impulse control in high school, so I guarantee you if we'd had Facebook back in 1982, I'd have been updating my status with: "Kristy is a tramp" or "I HATE ALL OF YOU AND I'M NEVER COMING BACK TO SCHOOL!!!" I would have humiliated myself daily. Possibly even with emoticons.

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I would've taken pictures of a horse's butt and tagged a teacher. I'd have left "Thanks for last night!" comments on an old boyfriend's wall to make his new love interest mad. My poor best friend, who never could handle her liquor in high school? How many Donna-with-a-Sharpie-goatee photos do you think would go on my wall and hers? And her mom's?

Suffice it to say, Facebook brings out the worst in me, even though I'm an adult (and I use that term very loosely). Facebook Me is the pettiest, most superficial and competitive me there is. So, in other words, it's exactly like High School Me. I mean, I practically turn up the collar on my Izod as soon as I log on there.

Why does Facebook take us back to the drama and emotional turmoil of high school? I know I'm not the only one who enjoys the built-in time travel? And yet, I love me the Facebook.

And one more thing before I sign off: Kristy really is a tramp.

Tags: dating