just nod if you can hear me

I am getting the distinct impression I Tommy Westphall’d my entire childhood until 1991.

I’ll wait a second so you can Wiki the reference and get yourself comfortable inside my head –

Okay then. I am worried about the state of my past. I’ve been online since the dawn of time, and in that time frame, I haven’t found anyone from my past.

Elaborate? Gladly. As the internet grew, I hopped on the bandwagons of all the latest “make and find friends!” fad websites. Most of the time I used these sites to keep in touch with people I already talked to on a regular basis, or to make myself look super cool by seeming to have many friends. In all the time I’ve been online, through all the many different friend-collecting sites, I have never found ANYONE that I was friends with in school. I’ve used classmate finding sites, MySpace, FaceBook, Orkut, Friendster – you name it, and I have an account there and have tried in vain to find anyone I knew in real life before I received my first computer with modem. Every person I know today I know from AFTER the computer was my only social outlet – all my oldest friends are from the STS. I think back and say “Oh, I’ve known ‘nee and Brooks and Mike and Matt forever!” – true, but only if you think of “forever” as starting after 1991. Elementary school, junior high, senior secondary – can’t find anyone. My best friends, my worst enemies, people I never had any dealings with yet I remember their names – nothing. No sign of them anywhere. Can it really be that out of 13 years of school acquaintances, I am the ONLY ONE who uses the internet? That seems incredibly unlikely – we didn’t graduate (or in my case, not graduate) so long ago that technology would be far beyond the capabilities of our generation, especially when you consider that we are (were?) the very definition of Generation X. Where IS everyone? Why can’t I find ANY of my classmates online?

What other conclusion can I come to, other than “they never existed”? Did I dream my entire life until 1992? Was my entire childhood just a fantasy? Did I retcon everything I knew before 1991? Holy shit, am I the Matrix?

Great. Now I’m not going to be able to talk to anyone without wondering if they’re real or just a figment of the Kimli Wangzilla Universe.

On the upside, that would make everything really and truly all about me. Hah!

8 thoughts on “just nod if you can hear me

  1. I haven’t found anybody I went to school with online either. I’ve run across 2 of them in RL (3 if you count seeing Nelly Furtado on TV), but I have no clue where everybody else ended up. Thought maybe being Mt Drug, they’d all died or something, but…

  2. Man, I’m glad I only ever watched one episode of St Elsewhere, or MY world would be rocked right now.

    I have actually, through an obscene amount of mostly wasted time, located a few really old-school, pre-STS-era friends from Jr high on friendster and myspace. One is a girl I sort of had a crush on in jr. high, and in her profile she includes some pretty racy (for her) pictures from a movie she was in. Too late to be of any use, but I’ll take it anyways.

    Of course now that I’ve found them, I still haven’t actually started talking to them in any depth.

    I went to Mt Doug, illie — but the people I found were all originally from Cedar Hill.

  3. Your blog totally won’t let me post comments.

    I’m glad I only ever watched one episode of St Elsewhere, or MY world would be rocked right now.

    I have actually, through an obscene amount of mostly wasted time, located a few really old-school, pre-STS-era friends from Jr high on friendster and myspace. One is a girl I sort of had a crush on in jr. high, and in her profile she includes some pretty racy (for her) pictures from a movie she was in. Too late to be of any use, but I’ll take it anyways.

    Of course now that I’ve found them, I still haven’t actually started talking to them in any depth.

  4. Well, well. See, KLW, this is a small internetiverse after all. Three comments, and all of us went to Mt. Doug, and I even went to Cedar Hill! Represent!

    I’ve re-united with somebody I knew from Mt Doug, which is of course post-STS, but we never dealt with each other online. In fact, there are only a few people from my school daze that I maintain any contact with at all, none of which I see more than three or four times a year. You shoulda seen the people that stopped calling after I started having babies!

  5. While I’m a fan of Phillip Jose Farmer from…can I say it here?… before the internet, the Kevin Bacon game is more how to make your search work.

    I’ve found many of my important friends from senior year in high school, but I had to use far too many “classmate” sites. It turned out easier to drive 1100 miles and visit my sister, who married a fellow grad-class member, because she had the yearbook and had gone to many of the reunions.

    My closest friends from university were harder to track, because far fewer post-secondary grads look back to reconnect with those now out of their current lives… too busy, but I did manage to reconnect with the key ones after a 25 year break by remembering the important details of their lives, and not the seemingly important details of my shared times with them. The connections were re-made by finding the brothers, sisters, and other friends, and just being ready to spot a step on the six degrees of connection.

    Example #1 : old girlfriend, who attended university while living with her parents with her only child, born out of wedlock when it was not fashionable.. turned up on a TV newscast one day as the unmarried head of an environmental pollution branch of the state of California.

    Example #2 : another friend, went through a bad marriage and as a result changed her entire name. I found her brother, who had just started posting a model railroading newsletter on the ‘net, and then her. We’re back in contact, and just found out that our favourite holiday spots were the same, but I go in May and December, and she goes in July & August. Weird!

    Example #3: another friend common to #2 & I was running a long-distance marathon, and #2 was participating while on holiday, both a long ways from home, and they saw each other, and #2 passed on his email address to me, and that was the reconnect.

    Nah, it’s Kevin Bacon that rules, and the ‘net just makes it easier. And the key part, remembering their connections to others, besides those to yourself.

    Ken

  6. Kimli, I share your inability to find people from my past life on the intarweb.

    Just like you, I can’t seem to find anyone on the *space, *ster, *mates sites that I met before 1994.

    I did come from a backward-ass, truck-drivin’, gun-shootin’, fag-bashin’ small town, and it’s a possibility that they just can’t figure out how to use them typin’ machines that go on that there web.

    In retrospect, there’s probably a handful of people from my jr high/high school years that I actually liked, so I suppose I can’t really count this as a loss.

    Good luck, let me know if you discover some hidden website where all these people from our past are lurking.

    ~T

  7. Just to add to the amusement and general small worldness of things:
    I also went to Cedar Hill and Mout Doug (grad ’94).

    I know a few people from that time – but I think i know where 1 person for pre high school is!

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