Building a time machine so I can go slap Past Me

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
               – Muhammad Ali

I both hate and love Facebook’s “On This Day” feature, mainly because how it makes me feel about my past self. At it’s best it can remind me of good times I’ve had, places I went and things I did. At it’s worst it can make me realise that Past Chris was kind of an idiot.

Luckily I haven’t found anything too bad, although there are a few statuses which have prompted some cringes of embarrassment. Either because they show how dull my life was (I doubt people cared that I was watching daytime TV) or because they are laddish or stupid.

We don’t really think about ourselves changing, because it happens gradually over time, but this is like being confronted with how you used to be. At the time I don’t remember thinking I was being a bellend, but reading them back that’s the word that springs to mind.

Worst are some of the answers I gave on quizzes I used to do. I think I had this idea that being blunt and honest about sex and stuff was mature but it just comes across as crass and there are a few which have me despairing for Past Chris.

Picard listening to his early Captain's logs.

Take my 2008 answer to the question of whether there was someone of the other gender on my mind:

Vaguely, I was just thinking about a friend of mine because she’d posted some new photos to a group which are cleavagetastic

Oh. My. God.

I sound like an utter arse. I mean firstly, why share that much? Especially as my friend, whoever she was,would probably guess it was about her and might not like the idea of a friend perving on her. Also “cleavagetastic”?!?! What the hell was I thinking. I just wish I could apologise to the girl for what is quite a sleazy response.


It gets worse. Also from 2008 I was asked “if you could cheat on a loved one and there was no chance of getting caught would you do it?”. My answer seems so alien to me now:

If the person was hot, and I couldn’t get caught, then sure.

What makes it worse is that when I wrote this I was in a relationship! I can only imagine how thrilled my the girlfriend was when she saw that.

I suspect that if 2016 Chris met 2008 Chris he wouldn’t like him that much, and be a bit disappointed in himself.

I've come back because I've been rereading our old updates. And we were being an arse. Sort it out, dude.

I’ve only been on FB since 2007, so none of the things I’ve seen are a decade old and even they seem an age ago. I think despite having joined as an adult I’ve definitely grown up a lot since then, and now I can’t recognise some things about the person I was. My views on things have changed, what I say and how I say them is different and I definitely think I’m more mature now.

I wonder what the 2008 version if me was thinking when he typed these answers, how he thought these answers were okay. Whether he considered how some of the stuff he wrote might effect others?

It doesn’t seem so. It seems like I was self involved and unthinking. I wonder how many people I upset with things I wrote, and am actually grateful my old blogs are gone now, because I dread to imagine what i wrote on them.

I’m far from perfect now. I make mistakes, but I try to think before I post and if I do upset someone I feel bad, but am I doing well enough? Or will 2024 Chris be sitting reading over old blogs and status updates and groaning, cursing the current me as a fool? Who knows, what I do know is that I feel glad I have changed, that I am more thoughtful and sensible, and hope that I keep moving in that direction.

I think this is why people in time travel movies are always warned not to interact with their former selves, not because of insanity or tearing away the fabric of time and space, it’s just because seeing your old safe will be an embarrassing and frustrating experience.

If anyone feels like sharing their own embarrassing social media past feel free to share in the comments, let me know I’m not alone.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

2 thoughts on “Building a time machine so I can go slap Past Me

  1. Mine just reminded me of past relationships, especially with a certain someone I loved so deeply who broke my heart. I delete them as I come across them. No need to have those memories in my life anymore.

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