Spontaneously, I like to google my name. I’m sure I’m not alone. Spontaneously, I like to do many things… The makings of an energetic guy with an attention problem.
Once in a while, aside from the google alerts and the spontaneous tweets, something intriguing comes along. In my case, certain discoveries have uncovered old ratty pieces of writing online that I’ve long wished had disappeared, the reference to an article that I’d written and had been published in a book about geriatric medicine, and this week a shirtless selfie that was published in the New York Observer, called No More Junk Mail: Fellas, Please Keep the Dick Pics to Yourself.
I can’t help but laugh, and in this case, be thankful that I wasn’t used as an example of what not to do… When trying to pick up straight women online! So yeah, there’s a few pieces here that don’t exactly connect.
But, I ask myself is this actually shame or fame—this spontaneous uncovering of our online selves? And whether something is posted on the New York Observer or the Huffington Post, the passing of a post online comes and goes as quickly as a camera flash set on a timer in a locker room. To those of us with more skin to show, it’s a lesson in caution when we decide to bare our skin. And a lesson in forgiveness for any attachment that we have to our body and our online presence. Sure it’s a name and a picture, but what else is it other than a passing pixel?
As a gay man, perhaps I have a thicker skin than most to the baring of skin online. Perhaps I’m reveling in the idling thoughts that still fill my subconscious I’m sure; to be discovered and ushered off into a life of flashing camera bulbs and fancy parties. Unlike my former self, I’m happy in my skin, I’m happy in my shoes, and I’d prefer to just stay where I’m planted.
So we google on, we discover, and if we can, we laugh. Because tomorrow is just another day, and by then they’ll be another heap of new humans born, entitled, and ready to make their own mistakes.
Trevor Ellestad is a writer, an herbalist, and an ex-yoga teacher who spends his days creating plant-based magic at Vega. Trevor keeps a tidy home with his partner and their as of yet un-named spider monkey of a kitty cat in Vancouver, BC. At night, Trevor likes to surround himself with plants and obsess over the seemingly simple lives of cats and robots.