Are You Still Relevant? [Part 1 of 2]

Rox, Grace, Bill & Laura
Rox, Grace, Bill & Laura – April, 2008

I had an interesting experience happen two months ago back in May, which I talked about in “Who Are You?”. Basically, I sent a friends request on Facebook to someone I was friends with in Elementary School and she had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA who I was! 😀

Now, of course, there are like a million people I’ve forgotten since Elementary, so her perception of me (or lack thereof, haha) isn’t a big deal. My perception of her happened to remain fresh because she’s an actress and shows up in films or on television every couple of years, so I pretty much couldn’t forget her if I tried! 😀

However.. The situation made me consider what I’ve done… or perhaps how my mind works when it comes to my friends. My system retains what I’ll call positive, negative or neutral remembrances of people or they exit my mind entirely. All the time, I’ve run into friends that I haven’t seen for years, and we picked up our conversations and hangouts as if we had just seen each other yesterday. That’s because my system operates on a kind of suspended-animation basis.

In my mind, I don’t stop being friends with someone because we’re out of contact. I either have a generally good, bad, neutral or “zero” (forgotten) feeling about them when I run into them the next time, and then we take it from there. That’s partially what makes me who I am as a video editor. I can see footage and retain it in my mind and then make the video from memory instead of having to see it physically on the screen. I never “rough cut”. I’m always laying video and audio down exactly as I wanted it in my mind, checking it and then adjusting it.

So, after “Who Are You?”, I let it lay for a couple of months, and today, I went for another round of Elementary / JHS Facebook friend invites. The difference for me this time was that I’m no longer expecting people to remember me because I “remember” them. I’m not expecting anyone else to have retained ANY information about spending time with me years ago, even if I remember buying my FIRST album with them, or spending the night at their house, or cutting school with them or playing sports against them or getting into fights with them or liking the same music they do or scoring higher than them and everyone else in three entire classes on a math test.

It’s cool. 🙂 It is what it is. They remember me or they don’t. They’ll accept the invite or they won’t.

The other aspect of this is that even if they DID remember “who I am”… That was then, and this is now. A whole lot of time has passed and a whole lot of stuff has happened that obviously make us different people today than we were in 6th and 7th grade. It’s clearly easier to kick-start friendships with people you knew from College and High School, because we were all more developed as characters/personalities by then, things aren’t so different now as when we were in school together and not as much time has passed.

So, even if I *HAD* props back in the day, that doesn’t mean that I still have them now and wouldn’t have to start all over (if I chose to attempt to do so) in relating to them as an absolute stranger.

It’s really very interesting, and I suppose there are a lot of people who wonder WHY someone would even care about reaching back to people he or she used to know years ago. I talked about that back in April 2008, in “Digital Internet Snobbery”. Basically, by staying on the cutting edge of Social Media, I realized a year ago that everyone that wasn’t as advanced as I was, I was like “Let them eat cake”.

It’s not that I *didn’t* care. It’s that I couldn’t. Social Media takes up all of your day, every day. Staying on the edge requires a lot of R&D and Trial & Error. There’s no time for MySpace when you’re advancing on Facebook. There’s no time for Ning when you’re advancing on your own blog. There’s no time for Joost when you’re watching Hulu. There’s no time for Jaiku when you’re advancing on Twitter……

So, my goal in reaching back is to let people know that I remember them from back in the day and extend that ping to them.. That recognition. They’ll appreciate it, not appreciate it, despise it or think nothing of it. Doesn’t matter one way or the other.

It mattered the first time, because that was my wake-up call as far as how my own system works. At this point, I’mma play it where it lays. I’ll reach out when I see someone I remember and that’s that. In the meantime, I’ll figure out what I’m going to do with my OTHER 1443 Facebook friends.

~ Bill Cammack

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3 Comments

    1. hahaha You’re just saying that because I properly backlinked to you under our picture!!! 😀 So that doesn’t count! 😀

      Actually, what happened here is that this part was supposed to be background information leading to my actual point, which I’m going to start typing right now as “Are You Still Relevant? [Part 2 of 2]”. Knowing how people read (or don’t) my site, the information would have been lost on them if I had started it at the end of a section that became too long for my purposes, so I decided to call it in and make my real point separately.

      The funny thing about this section of the post is that I’m currently relevant to more people that I’ve *NEVER* met than people that I *HAVE* met. As you can see from my Quantcast badge, I’m getting ~7,000 uniques a month, and my readership is LITERALLY world-wide ( with you doing your part from Hawaii! *waves* 😀 )

      Recent Visitor map for Lindsey Chen & Bill Cammack’s article: "Top Ten Valentine’s Day DON’Ts!"

      So I don’t personally have any relevance issues stemming from the situations I posted about. That turned into an overly-long preamble to the point I’m about to make right now. 😀

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