I have an irrational fear of being ousted by the general public for something I will write in the immediate future. My preferred nightmare includes:
1) I am on pace to win a revered place in society. (United States Presidency, for example)
2) Heartbreakingly, something “edgy” I wrote between the ages of 16-24 will be uncovered by the general public. (I use “edgy” because the idea of socially accepted writing changes from decade to decade. Just ask Mark Twain!)
3) This article/tweet/Facebook status will cause a fierce outcry from the public, thus resulting in my loss of United States Presidency.
I know what you’re thinking: “What type of posting could cause an outcry so large as to warrant your firing? Also, who wants to be president anymore?”
The presidency of the United States in the 21st century is the least desirable position ever imagined. Every opinion, action or thought must be mocked, heckled, and immediately criticized by every schwanz with internet access. Recently, Mitt Romney was held accountable for his bullying of a fellow student in high school. The incident took place in 1965, when Romney was 18:
“They came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.” -Washington Post, May 11th.
The Washington Post goes into great detail, with five different witnesses, about what happened that day. They all agree that Romney acted like a dickbag and probably regrets his actions from that day.
The article eventually prompted Romney to issue an apology for his actions from nearly a half-century ago:
“Back in high school, you know, I did some dumb things, and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously, I apologize for that… You know, I don’t, I don’t remember that particular incident [laughs]… I participated in a lot of high jinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize.” –Romney
The difference between the 1965 18-year old and the modern 18-year old is the amount of outlets possible to vent aggression. In hindsight, force and brutality were not the most sensible options for the young Romney, yet, they were the easiest and clearest way for Romney to express his frustrations. Today, the easiest way to express teenage aggression is through irresponsible tweets and unfriending on Facebook.
I don’t believe the actions of a dipshit 18-year old should jeopardize the candidacy of a completely different 65-year old politician. Yet, on the Washington Post story page, polls advertized whether or not the actions of a zit-faced assclown should influence the office of the presidency.
Lucky for the news services of 2056, it won’t be necessary to doggedly research such an occurrence. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Duckface* each document every idiotic action by this current generation with fearless aplomb. Between the subtweets and statuses lie short-sighted opinions and “Please don’t tag me in that” pictures. The internet’s not written in pencil, and the pictures are far from a dusty family photo album.
I fear for Romney-type persecution an older generation will level against this new crop of work-force members. Recently, it has come into vogue for employers to use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to determine whether someone is a reputable individual for hire. It’s difficult to believe the older generation of employers can understand Facebook the way the generation that grew up with it. Where most 20-somethings see tagged pictures as a snapshot of a batshit weekend, employers see these pictures as a clear indicator of character.
It would be impossible to change this type of culture, and I would be doing my 18-year old self a disservice if I lied about my revelry in shocker tagged pictures. (Two in the pink, one in the…Fuck me.) In forty years, everybody’s tweets, statuses, and pictures will still be documented and recorded on the internet. For most, MySpace and Facebook profiles will serve as a humorous reminder to the more vulnerable days of adolescence. But for others, they will be an ageless albatross, waiting to be uncovered by a possible employer, or worse, for a dull news cycle.
To the United States President of 2056, I wish you the best of luck. You’re probably tweeting something stupid right now, and it shouldn’t matter that you’re currently a thoughtless teenager concerned more with your Proactiv than with your Pro-Choice beliefs. But it will.
*(Patent pending on Duckface by Gallagher Inc.)