Recently I was on a missions trip with the youth group and the question arose if the leaders (myself and four other people) have ever gone through an emo phase. I laughed clearly remembering a time where I had stretched lobes, an addiction to Hot Topic, over processed hair, and a love of heavy black eyeliner. Yes, I had gone through an extended emo phase. It was a millennial right of passage, something the Gen-Z kids just don’t understand. YouTube and MySpace were the coolest things to ever exist.
Speaking of MySpace, I was wondering how difficult it would be to recover my account. I surely hope the youth group kids wouldn’t be able to find it. To be honest I have no idea what 15 year old me was posting on there. I don’t remember. I can only imagine it was an insane person’s dedicated accounts of whatever emo bands were popular. So plenty of MCR, Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, Sleeping with Sirens, Motionless in White, etc. Just a giant collection of teenage nonsense.
Ever since college I have been very conscious of my online presence. I was a special education major and Facebook was a pretty popular place for future employers to take a peek at to make sure you are not doing anything inappropriate or unnecessary. That wasn’t a thought when I was in middle school or high school. When I posted on blogs, MySpace, or forums I wasn’t thinking of any future implications that may happen. I wasn’t thinking about future youth kids trying to find my old profiles. But now I am concerned about that.
Our online presence is a permanent one that will last the test of time and it can be a life ruining one. I have a lot of political, religious, and alternative medicine stances that I do not post online about because I know most of them will be offensive to someone either at my job or at my church.
As grateful as I am for the redemption and grace of God I am still worried some old skeletons will fly out of my closet. Most people aren’t very forgiving or understanding of people having made mistakes or having a history that is anything but pristine. To them it’s a once and done deal, you screwed up so you’re automatically ruined for life, there is no redemption.
Moral of the story…..God is perfect. People are not. Make sure you’re sure before you post online.