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Social Media is the Ghost of Christmas Past

Combustion Magazine August 2013

Combustion Magazine August 2013

The clock struck midnight, Halloween turned back into just a pumpkin. Society’s Prince set out merrily on his way trying to put the glass slipper ornament on every damn tree it came into contact with (because there is no distinguishable traits between a Palm Tree and an Evergreen Conifer).

Christmas is actually only 4 days away now… and I can’t help but reminisce with Social Media’s very own Ghost of Christmas Past.

I wear the chain I forged in life…. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

The really cool thing about social media is that everything – and I mean everything – is documented. The moment I picked up a computer I began updating my friends (who most don’t actually know anything of merit about me, and I of them, but we stalk each other on Social Media anyways) on all of the latest life-happenings.

Since I’ve managed to forget my Myspace credentials, the earliest I can go back to in the past is where I began using Facebook…. and wow, it sure is interesting to see where I’ve been and what I’ve done. What I find most interesting about life is comparing daily life to the “big picture”. Every day that passes, in that moment, seems like nothing substantial has changed. Yet, looking back over weeks, months, even years – nothing is the same.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. – Soren Kierkegaard

Let’s just look at the differences compared in the time span of a week over the past years.



One year ago today, I was on the road trip of a lifetime. Married still. In the process of traveling with my partner from Colorado to Nevada, where we celebrated Christmas in Las Vegas. From there we went to Death Valley, CA… and it was quite a religious experience. Facebook would lead you to believe I was happy, and a part of me was. I was in the process of completing one of my lifetime dreams; checking off an item on my bucket list. Something was wrong, however – which later lead me to write my Marriage is Hard. post in hopes of encouraging myself to stand strong. Here is one small example of how Social Media is easily deceiving: Look at the picture I was tagged in on Dec 25th, 2012. The tag line is “Viva Las Vegas! Merry Christmas.” I am smiling in this picture. I hated Las Vegas; Despised it with every fiber of my being actually.

Though, let’s continue with this Of Christmas’ Past tour.

December 22, 2011… Facebook’s Ghost of the past tell’s me I was working at Carrabba’s. Running around Walmart with my partner – gift shopping for each other. Playing Poker upstairs with friends (and might I add winning!). As well as throwing end of the year Murder Mystery Parties. Life appears to be very successful. Also, at this time in my life, I was very passionate about writing on some social matters, such as affairs.

Peter Bennet

Peter Bennet

It appears that the furthest back I can go on Social Media, however, is only 3 years back. December 22, 2010. It was my first Christmas as a married person. We celebrated the 12 days of Christmas (event style), and that was quite fun. We were heavily involved in Church and our Youth Group. We were unhappy with our current living situation, but photos on Facebook would never give that away. I was trying to get involved with an agent for modeling. Only 20 years old, still so young. I couldn’t drink legally, and my surroundings made me never want to drink at all (Facebook doesn’t show that either).

That’s where Social Media stops for me (or begins, if you read this blog from bottom to top). If it isn’t on Facebook – did it happen? The week of December 22nd, 2009 – where was I? What was I doing? Well, I got engaged. I was happy, but ignorant to certain facts that would have made me very unhappy. Was it better that way?

Big Gig Photography MM#656416

Big Gig Photography MM#656416

December 2008… It’s getting harder to piece these past moments together without Facebook’s Ghost of the past. I had just turned 18. I had started modeling. My hair was black. I was probably working on Christmas. Was I happy?

Memory is a mirror that scandalously lies. – Julio Cortazar

December 2007? 2005? 1999? 1989? … I just don’t remember anything. Maybe if I try really hard to bring it to focus. Did I forget it for a reason?

Before I go all Scrooge here with “Bah Humbug!” I’ve really gotten to thinking… Is time’s remarkable ability to heal possible because of one’s ability to forget? Although Social Media is decieving, and not always a true representation of the Ghost of the Past… is it better this way because when we look back, we will not remember the pain?

That brings me here… with Social Media’s Ghost of Christmas Present – December 22, 2013; I genuinely say I wish you a Merry Christmas…

If it is not one do not worry, for you will forget those fine details anyways.

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