Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.
Sitting down at the Waffle House, I met the 13th version of me,
we glanced at each other with an uncertain air and were offered some coffee.
But we both rejected it, having no desire for the taste,
and not taking it black would have been a disgrace.
So we sat and had a ten to ten,
maybe sipped on some soda or chewed on a pen.
I told him about his life, what he was going to be,
how in ten years he would still not be free.
He didn’t seem quite interested, being wrapped up in his own world,
well, the most challenging thing he would face would be finding the love of a girl.
Most rewarding? Graduating from college to try to find a career.
Most fun? Sitting in front of a computer screen year after year.
After all was said and done,
We simply said goodbye,
there wasn’t much closure, nor much eye to eye.
Because we were parallels of each other,
cut from the same cloth,
and our conversation wouldn’t booster, it would merely fall, drop.
But there was one thing I forgot to say to him,
that might be useful one day:
Don’t waste your time on Twitter, you’ll waste your life away.
My 13 year old life ten years ago (from a technological standpoint):
- Was living in an old farmhouse way back in the sticks and going to be fairly racially divided school. Seventh grade was a struggle as I got bad grades consistently and just couldn’t get the help that I needed.
- Did not own a high definition television like I do now – all I had was a massive Sanyo CRT that sat precariously on a fragile cabinet.
- Was still using an old dial up 56k modem (the nostalgic connecting sound still resonates in my head). Getting on to the Internet was more of a satisfying reward back then. No Wi-Fi, had to string a long phone cord from the upstairs bedroom, down the stairs, and into the back of an ancient Packard-Bell tower sitting on the floor.
- Email was actually less obtrusive back then since I didn’t have multiple accounts, only one Hotmail that maybe got a couple messages in it a week. Now I have accounts all over the place, some I don’t even remember the passwords to, and they all are chock full of messages, most of them junk.
- Had a PlayStation 2 in 2004 that worked like a champ. In 2014, I have no game console, my broken PS3 being snatched up by my sister in Wisconsin.
- Facebook had just come out in 2004 but of course I wouldn’t know about it, it only being at a small number of Ivy League schools. There was no Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, or Flickr. WordPress was very new, having been introduced in 2003, and not known by a lot of people yet. Did not have a blog until 2013 and I don’t even think it was even a word yet, or was still simply called a “web log” before being crunched down to one word.
- One of the most popular cell phones in 2004 was the flip phone but I didn’t own one since they were expensive and I had no money or any need for a phone in that case.
- Netflix was around in 2004 but I didn’t know about it and anyway, TV shows and movies would be terrible to watch on a small CRT monitor over a sluggish dial-up connection.
- There were 5 Harry Potter books, but I would not get my hands on the fifth until the next year.
- Was using Google search exclusively. Bing was called MSN search and Yahoo was still not a friend of mine.
- Did not know about the iPod or any mp3 player device, even though it was invented in 2001. Did not even own a CD player until 2007, my musical tastes still quite mysterious.
- Bush was President in 2004, we Americans complaining about him. Obama is Prez in 2014, we are still complaining.