Dump that platform.
I haven’t posted here in a long while because I forgot about this platform. I can’t log into an online instructor profile because I forgot about that platform. I don’t post in Snapchat anymore because I largely forgot about it. I don’t know if I have dating profiles out there because I began a relationship and forgot about those platforms.
Is this just a forgetful tic of mine or the symptoms of a larger disease sweeping our digitized population? One of Too Many Platforms.
The internet has democratized publishing and we are no longer beholden to the scrutiny of gatekeepers, if we choose not to be. But much like how sex was liberated in the late 60s and 70s, we now can enjoy an orgy of ways to express ourselves online — easily, and often, without much care. You screw around on one platform for a while — it’s new and exciting, perhaps. You move onto another one, screw around with it for a while. You keep some in your back pocket and you go steady with others.
And sometimes, without even meaning to, you completely forget about some. Like an unintentional blackout after a freewheeling night of excess. I think excess is largely to blame for the problem.
Stay focused and minimize, they tell you. Get rid of clutter. Don’t own too many pairs of shoes. Don’t tempt yourself by going to a grocery store or farmers market. Go Marie Kondo on your closets. This is the advice of many experts — or self-proclaimed ones, at least, online — in today’s late-capitalist world where material possessions seem less important compared to experiences that can be shared digitally. When it comes to real, tangible objects, we know all too well that excess stuff leads to waste — and a waste of your money. But what are we losing instead of cash or resources when we engage with a dizzying number of digital platforms on an everyday basis, hoarding them all on our panoply of apps on our phones? What do we lose then? I think mental space. Hence, forgetting some.
In the manner of the Five Stages of Grief established by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler (in the late 60s), we might apply the same stages to those faced upon realizing you forgot about a certain online platform:
The first stage is denial: What in heaven’s name is this app? Did I ever use this thing at all?
The second stage is anger, or more likely, self-flagellating panic: What have I done? Crap!
The third stage is bargaining: Actually, most people stopped using Myspace in the early aughts; I just forgot to delete my idiotic high school photos but nobody saw them, I’m sure…
The fourth stage is depression: Why am I so behind on life?
The fifth stage is: C’est la vie, let it be. So you forgot. It’s only natural, I guess.
Incidentally, this is the stage that some online experts have pegged as the Nirvana of getting over things, summed up by the single onomonopoeia of “meh.”
And, if you really cared about that platform, would you let yourself forget? No. So settle down with the things you love. Let some go away — and all the better if you can actually, truthfully and naturally forget about them. I’d much rather not remember some of my exes.
(Oh my god, remember Tumblr? Shit.)