Floating Nudes, Mind Control, and the 21st-Century Superbomb
Taking ownership of my new, permanent normal.
Fact is, I’ve got loads of embarrassing crap floating around the interwebs right now that I can never take back. Why? Because mind control exists, because I was a hormonal teenager at one point, and because what some folks call “unacceptable behavior” has started looking like the new normal.
Some of this stuff makes me cringe. I don’t like thinking about it. It’s weird, uncomfortable, and taboo at work and at home. But worst of all, it’s all perfectly, one-hundred-percent true…
…and in an age where freedom to broadband is quickly becoming a human right, looking the other way is accepting I’m lugging around an armful of ticking time bombs ready to explode at Aunt Martha’s 33rd Annual Christmas Bonanza.
Sorry, Aunt Martha. I’m here to steal your thunder in advance.
Right now, I have dozens of lovely photos, ranging from intolerably awkward to scandalously uncouth, zipping around socials like Facebook and Grindr.
Some of which are searchable. All of which are recorded somewhere, tattooed on the inner thigh of the beast that is the Internet of Things.
None of these posts shall withstand the test of time. I won’t look back on these photos fondly when Creepy Frank inevitably DM’s me said photos alongside a pornographic parade of purple eggplant emojis.
I sit here, in my proverbial underwear, claiming ownership of said photos. Let it be known that neither Aunt Martha nor Creepy Frank shall leverage these nudes against me.
Fact is, total privacy is a relic, and I’m not in the business of pretending dinosaurs still walk the earth (although Mammoths might).
An estimated 50% of my wants originate from a marketing team huddled in Silicon Valley. These wants have nothing to do with my needs or long-term goals; these are not my brain-children; nevertheless, I want.
Allbirds. iPhones. Model 3 Teslas. This delicious snack. Netflix. Attention. Every single one of these things makes me less rich, takes time out of writing that novel, and improves my long-term happiness not at all. A logical version of me would swear off every single item on this list.
With the notable exception of Model 3, I own them all.
Yes, I’m terribly embarrassed over having bought four pairs of shoes with half a month’s rent. Yes, I cringe at the sheer quantity of selfies I’ve snapped and sent because I want you to LOOK AT ME and how SMART and HAPPY and WEALTHY and CULTURED and SEXY I am.
I know. I do.
Let it be known that I, too, am shocked I did these things, and am hard-pressed to explain why I thought these were good ideas at the time. If pressured, I will probably spout bland, oaty statements like “but the environment” or “it could be worse” or “the monkey told me to.”
My monkey brain is powerless before the might of marketing.
So Aunt Martha, don’t you worry. I am perfectly aware I don’t make sense; this fact need not come up at the 44th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Roast.
Floating nudes and mind control suck, but I don’t worry about them. Separately, they’re dealable. Ignorable. Sweep-under-the-duvet and pretend-that-incident-never-happened-able.
What I DO worry about is what happens when you combine these two ticking time bombs into one, giant superbomb.
A Simple Equation
A thought problem: what do you get when you combine floating nudes with mind control? What do you get when you combine total transparency and digital records with monkey brains and Netflix’s marketing department?
Answer: a lot of nudes.
Facebook posts. Newsletter subscriptions. Tik Tok videos. That one horrible dance video from 11th grade. Nudes, all of them. I’m not a time-traveler. But if I were, I’d zip back in time and back-slap younger me before he mustered the courage to press “send.”
Good intentions aside, I’m not comfortable with the amount of personal information I have floating around the internet. Information that includes everything from my personal email address to personal photos to inexplicably thirsty blog posts like this.
It’s too much cringe for a scaredy-cat like me.
Sadly, I’ve no proven solution to this cheeky issue. My stance thus far has been to play solitaire and hem and haw along with Aunt Martha at the degenerates of the world. Thus far, this strategy has paid dividends in heartburn and general judginess that doesn’t fit my laid-back character.
This is the world I live in. One I fully intend to take advantage of and adapt alongside, for the benefit of Future Me. Which means grabbing the facts by their exposed derriere and wiggling them like saucy sardines for Aunt Martha to gape over while I figure this shit out.
Enough is enough. It’s time to face the facts:
I am nude and I am online.
Well, this has been awkward. But it doesn’t have to be!
I’m giving a go at turning a dinner-table weakness into a professional and personal strength. I’m doing so by…
- Feeding it to my hungry blog.
- Practicing vulnerability, which I patently suck at.
- Aligning my digital self with my physical self, empowering me to accurately diagnose my strengths weaknesses and plan accordingly.
Thus far, it’s been a rather freeing, if awkward, experience. I have high hopes for what happens next.
Whatever it is, I’ll keep you posted. (;