Do I Know You?

Bill, Grace & QuirkI’ve been transparent on the net since 2006, almost three years ago. In that time, I’ve gotten extremely used to people knowing SOMETHING about me before they meet me. Some people know that I edit. Some people know that I hang out with a lot of chicks. Some people know I’m into Social Media, etc etc…

In December ’07, I wrote “Are You A Tech Elitist”, and in April ’08 I wrote “Digital Internet Snobbery”. The basic point of the two was that as I was moving forward with better Social Media sites, I was losing track of people that never moved ahead. This was fine with me, because I needed to interact with the progressive people in order to remain progressive.

Eventually, I realized that the people I was interacting with wasn’t a function of friendship, but a function of “who was it that made it to the next tech level?” Are you in AOL rooms? Me too. Are you on AIM? Me too. Are you on MySpace? Me too. Are you on Facebook? Me too. Are you on ooVoo? Me too. Are you on Twitter? Me too. They’re all a bunch of divisions, and being that there are so many hours in the day, the lesser formats of interaction and socialization are left in the dust. It’s necessary, because only the people on THIS level are going to find out first about the NEXT LEVEL and become “early adopters” and most likely the Heroes and Rockstars of the near future (as far as our fisbowl / echo chamber’s concerned).

After I wrote those, I stopped reaching forward towards people and started looking back. Recently, I found friends from former jobs I held (when I used to 9-5, back in the day). I found friends from MIT that I had lost touch with. I found friends from High School and friends I grew up with, so I decided to see if I could find anyone from Elementary. 🙂 This is what led to this post.

I had a very interesting experience this morning. I had sent a friends request to someone I knew in Elementary School. In ABSOLUTE hindsight, my “Digital Internet Snobbery” disallowed me from introducing myself properly. I asked the person who THEY were, instead of explaining who *I* was, because I’m so used to people already KNOWING who I am. People recognize me walking down the street. People recognize me at social functions. People recognize me on the internet (unless I’m wearing makeup… )

Bill Cammack as "The Millipede" in Indy Mogul's Backyard FX Super Test Film, "The Spirit's Day Off"

So, basically, my current Delusions of Grandeur plus years of being in the echo chamber transparency spotlight plus decades of being a superstar IRL combined to disallow myself to believe that I wasn’t making an indelible mark on people’s memories (*gasp* I almost spelled mammaries!… “Making an indelible mark on people’s mammaries!” :O no no no….. Anyway…) at that point in time.

So I FAILED to identify myself properly, and the response I got was [paraphasing] “Did you go to that school? I only add friends, and I don’t remember you, and neither does [ANOTHER one crony of mine from back in the day]”. So now, not only doesn’t person A remember me, but neither does person B, which implies that it’s possible that persons C through Z don’t either! 😀 There’s nothing wrong with this, but it made me consider whom I remember from that far back, and why.

I’ve always gone to specialized schools that you had to take tests to get into, so EVERYBODY was always SOMEBODY, to a degree. Yes, I’m talking about Elementary School, haha we’re from New York City, and people have to develop their social personalities very early on. Even in specialized environments, there are cliques. You have the rich kids, the cool kids, the athletes, the kids that all live in a certain area, the kids that all listen to a certain type of music, the kids that dress well, the popular kids, the unpopular kids…

Bill & TroyGranted, there are lots of people that I remember by name and not by face. There are lots of people I don’t remember at all. I’m not claiming to remember everybody. Still, it’s an interesting feeling for me to NOT be remembered by somebody. 🙂

My memory happens to be visual, which is why I’m good as a video editor. I only have a few instances, but I have clear visual memories of both person A *AND* person B. It’s funny how living with those visions gives a false sense of closeness… which clouds the actual detachment of not being in contact with someone for years and years….

So I sent my reply back, citing mutual friends, etc, however, by the time I was writing it, I realized I wasn’t writing to my Elementary School friend, but to an entirely different person that’s had an entire lifetime’s worth of experiences since then. Basically, I couldn’t actually say “This is your friend…” in any format of present-day way, because we’ve been completely out of touch since we were in school together.

That was a sobering recognition, to say the least. I made sure to put in the note that I understood if they didn’t consider me a “friend” at this point. I’m sure there’s some sort of statute of limitations on friendship, hahaha 😀

So the response to that will either be positive, negative or neutral / no reply at all. Either result, I’m cool with. I realize now that you can’t just pick up where you left off. You can’t just say “HERE I AM!!! IT’S MEEE!!! :)” and have people go “Oh yeah… good to see you… welcome!”. That was THEN, and This is NOW. If you’re going to reach back to people from back in the day, then REGARDLESS of how entertaining you think you are IRL or on the internet, MAKE SURE that you present them with your current “friendship resume” so they can make an educated decision about whether they’re willing to try you out AGAIN as a friend or just let the past be the past…..

~Bill Cammack

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7 Comments

  1. “The fallen dominoes lie where they fall, but past events vanish into the present, which is just another way of saying that the world is a self-moving pattern which, when its successive states are remembered, can be shown to have a certain order. Its motion, its energy, issues from itself now, not from the past, which simply falls behind it in memory like the wake from a ship.”
    ~Alan Watts

    I wanted to mention Wayne Dyer had something to say about reputations, how a thousand people can describe you in a thousand ways, so that it really didn’t matter. He followed up by paraphrasing Alan Watts had described all past accomplishments & achievements are just like a wake from a boat as you look behind.

    1. Yeah man. That’s what I’m finding out. As they say in every industry, “You’re only as good as your last [whatever]”.

      The thing is, living in the fishbowl, it’s tough to remember that there are people that have 30 times the followers that you do that nobody in the real world has ever heard of. I don’t know anybody IRL that would be able to name even one of the so-called A-list bloggers besides people already involved in Social Media.

      You bring up an excellent point. #%&$ the past! We shall make NEW names for ourselves and re-introduce ourselves in our present iterations! 😀

      Thanks for the comment, Francisco! 😀

  2. I’m sorry do I know you? HA, I barely remember anyone from elementary school, hell I can’t even remember the last names of some of the guys I’ve dated. Chances are if I recognize the person I’ll give them a “hey how are you blah blah blah” exchange one or two emails then never talk to them again. In some rare instances I’ve formed longer sustaining relationships with these old friends but not that many.

    As far as being a Tech Elitist, I find that most people, excluding you, are very talentless and just think they are a Tech Elitist rather than being one. They enjoy the smell of their own farts and are generally smug, and self centered, and have no actual talent, they just think they do because the 30 friends in their little circle all kiss each other’s asses. Most of them make no money and can’t even afford rent.

    1. I’ve learned a good lesson from this situation. 🙂 No more resting on past heroics. If I’m going to strive to “friend” someone, it’s going to have to be on the merits of what I’m CURRENTLY bringing to the table, which I have no problems producing, because I’m always doing something new.

  3. I grew up in a very small town–graduating class of 53 kids–and we all know each other. I mean, we don’t talk every day, but if you say a person’s name I instantly know who it is. I think for this reason I grew up differently than you described. I have had people add me to their friends, especially on facebook, and they added me because they knew who I was–not necessarily because we were ever friends in the first place–but I suppose it’s all right, because I think I’ve made out pretty well in this world, all things considered. 😉

    1. I’m the same way, pretty much. If I knew someone from back in the day and we shared good times together, OF COURSE I’m going to add them.

      If we’ve gotten out of touch, I’m willing to hear what the “new you” is about. If we have things in common now, Great! 😀 If we don’t, it’s still great because we’ve reconnected and reminded ourselves of great times in the past! 😀

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