On the heels of the #hbgsmc meeting, I had a an epiphany yesterday.
I started wondering about the types of mediums I used before social media was called “social media.”
Then, I freaked out.
“Was that thing still out there?” I wondered. Ugh.
Xanga was an early blogging platform. And you can still sign up for one.
For me, it was more of an online journal where I vomited way too much information and commented on sites of my friends, who vomited an equal amount of inappropriate stuff.
They allow you to join “blog rings,” which serve the same purpose as interest groups on Facebook.
The ones I belonged to mostly shared a disdain for my hometown. One of them was called “The hell hole called hershey, pa.”
I did a quick search.
My page was, indeed, still out there in all its glory – an Internet relic of my teenage angst frozen in time for all the world to see.
I stopped posting at some point in 2006, when I started college at Penn State and Facebook became the new fascination.
My last entry was something about the “frats being lame.” It also said something about how I was getting off Xanga.
But, like the 18-year-old idiot I apparently was, I DIDN’T DELETE THE THING.
So, yesterday, I tried to delete the online abomination, but couldn’t remember the password.
I had set up the account a VERY long time ago with an old email address. That made it more complicated to retrieve the password through the “forgot my password” button.
That left me in a panic. I had to get into HersheyBulldog16.
That’s my first and only AOL account.
Such a stupid screenname. Why was I so weird?
I’m from Hershey, and “bulldog” was some soccer nickname I had for reasons I don’t remember. #16 was my soccer jersey.
So, I called AOL. They informed me that my PARENTS actually had control over my account and THEY would have to call or change it online.
Um, that’s how old the account is.
So, I called up the mothership, Ann.
Ann wasn’t so happy about some of the entries I used to write on Xanga, mainly because I was complaining about her.
Whatever. All teenagers do it.
(Editors Note: I worship the Ann now. Read this column.)
My mom called AOL, and I was able to log into my long lost friend.
I retrieved the password reset email and answered Xanga’s three-question quiz, which allows you to shut down your account forever, ending an era that should have ended seven years ago.
The quiz basically makes sure you understand that by shutting down your account, you will never be able to retrieve your Xanga entries again. Ever.
I didn’t even read my entries or bother to print them out. Maybe I should have.
Maybe they would have reinstilled the best lesson of all: Watch what you say on the Internet.
I was happy they were gone.
Then, I logged back into my old friend, HersheyBulldog16.
Out of curiousity, I even signed into AIM, which I replaced with Gchat many moons ago.
There they were, sitting in my chat list: old friends from my days of working at HersheyPark, middle school pals, people I haven’t spoken to in ages.
I sat there for a second, waiting for them to log on. Just like old times.
Then I got to thinking: What’s going to happen in another 6-10 years?
Am I going to look back on my Facebook with horror thinking, “What the hell was I doing?”
Am I going to be begging the York Daily Record to delete this video?
Will I eventually scramble for the password of a long forgotten Gmail account, racing to delete this blog?
Only time will tell.