Opinions: Politically Correct?: Paper and pixels

Opinions: Politically Correct?: Paper and pixels

Since I can remember I’ve kept journals, from small notebooks filled with pink paper and Hello Kitty to the black leather Moleskin I own now.

In 4th grade, my pink pages consisted of things I deemed important to jot down, like how I was one of the last kids to place in the Pumpkin Run or how we went to the zoo my friend’s birthday party.

I’m not sure if everyone else kept journals, but it’s always been a staple in my life.

When I turned 11 in 6th grade, I felt as if my thoughts needed to be shared with others. I got an Aol instant messaging account that gave  a profile and away messages. But, I never wrote anything important or intellectual in my small HTML-formatted profile or my one-sentence away message. Most of the time is was just an inconsequential inside joke like “Is Garfield over yet?” or a quote from favorite lyric from Bubble Toes by Jack Johnson song.

When I got older, I wrote more. In grade I kept two journals, one with quotes I liked and the other with personal thoughts about the curly hair of the boys that played in a band and The Catcher in the Rye.

That year I ditched AIM and got a facebook account. facebook was like a whole new planet to me. Status updates were extraterrestrial. I was shocked that lyrics like “it’s as common as something that nobody knows” could now be shared on facebook after the line “Casey is…” instead of on pink pages.

I constantly posted statuses with song lyrics and ponderings I had had (i.e., if sour cream is already sour does it ever expire?). I entered new intellectual territory.

facebook killed the journal like “video killed the radio star.”

I was no longer writing on pages. My messy, heavy handwriting was not being saved as a tangible item anymore. Everything I was writing belonged to the Internet and not me.

My favorite thing about the fact that I’ve kept journals for a good amount of my adolescent life is that I can look back on my feelings in 4th grade. I can re-read my thoughts about a fight with my friends or a boy not liking me (and my world ending).

But with everything as a facebook status, I cannot hold my thoughts in a tattered, bound book.

But, sophomore year I matured and I started dealing with more I wanted to write about. The matters I was dealing with did not belong on a facebook status, they belonged in a journal.

So, my journal was reborn. And the journal got more attention than facebook. I filled 3×5-inch notebooks up with frantic scribbles,  but none of my thoughts appeared on the Internet. I had disappeared from the cyber world.

I  missed my facebook statuses and getting “likes” on my posts. I decided I needed to find a middle ground between the Internet and the pages in my notebook.

I deemed my notebooks for personal information like broken hearts and sappy poems and facebook for funny and/or intellectual sassy comments about the 2008 election.

Problem solved.

But today, I feel the same problem resurfacing. Now that I have a Twitter account, I tweet more than I write in my notebook. So, do I want to save my thoughts for my notebook or post them publicly?

I think later in life I’ll thank myself for keeping my thoughts in a journal. I’ll be able to look back on my thoughts as a senior in high school where as if I post on facebook and Twitter, the personal touch of my handwriting and sketches is lost.

I wonder if this is how my grandparents had felt when their letters were beginning to be replaced by emails.

In twenty years, will I look back on my journals or facebook? No one knows what new social networking or technology the future will bring for me to post Jack Johnson lyrics and  sour cream pondering on. But, writing with pen on paper is the oldest form of record keeping; it will never disappear. So, I’ll be sure to keep my pink, hello kitty pages as a source of permanent record keeping.