Admission: The only pictures of me that exist on the internet are taken by other people,none of them are my own
Ive always detested the very idea of showing any image of myself on the internet.
Its not because of how i view myself, (i think i look alright) but the very vast and infinite idea that some fragment of my image is up there online for all the world to see and knowing that,that image will be up there forever
I recognize it comes from a deep overwhelming sense of paranoia,but considering how encroaching the power of big data and the deification of billionaires and entrepanuers its only given me more reason and belief that my paranoia is right.
Ive never had a problem with selfies, im adverse to them but im not one of those people who are befuddled as to why anybody would want to take one.
I know a few trans and NB people online who use them as a way to document them becoming the person they always felt they were,its a genuine surprise to me that anybody would want to share something as deeply personal as that and normally my response would be to feel that im prying into something that im not meant to (which tends to happen alot to me) but rather than try to get in the way or shut people down i just sit quiet and let them do as they please. If anything i applaued each and every person i know who does so.
I suppose my distrust goes back to my early days on the internet,unlike many of my peers i didnt mess with internet forums course i jumped on many sites but never in all the time i went on Newgrounds, GameFAQs,the early days of Youtube or any of the places that i used to lurk on did i feel the urge to ever partake in what was going on.
It’s probably what sets me apart from many people i know this sense of offbeat isolation, trying to pick up the pieces and make sense of things that to others now entering their 30s comes with a “seen it all argued every angle, feel no need to look back” attitude & instead wasting their time in gassing up teens they’ve never interacted with about how they’re the smartest people on the planet or how ones astrology sign deems them a monster or some bullshit like that. People raging at the same people for 10+ years and never getting anywhere and it took a failed racist billionaire for them to ask “what have i been doing with my life?,none of this matters”
I never was interested in 4chan yes i read ED but i was always the outsider looking in,from all the nigger jokes i knew from then that this was a place where somebody like me wasn’t wanted no matter how much they would say the joke wasn’t meant to be taken seriously people who get misty eyed over 2006 remind me of old NY hardcore dads who get upset that they can’t bring boxcutters to shows anymore “that’s when it was real” they say not realising they sound like psychos.
I was late to making an email cause i knew i would need one starting sixth form, it just felt inevitable.
I feel like once i decided to take that leap and join social media there was a long standing personal boundary, a piece of my internal code that was broken and hasn’t quite been fixed back all becase i decided to do something “on a whim” which is something i hardly ever do even now. this one spur of the moment decision changed everything.
Its moments like this when i envy Thomas Pynchon, currently 80 years old and the only pictures of him date back to the 60s, from either his high school or college years.
Then theres also the case of Buddy Bolden, arguably one of the founders of one of the most influential forms of music in the 20th century only for there to be no recorded music and only one photo with him in it, such is the case with many pre-war blues musicians whose records shifty looking overweight white guys pay thousands for in the quest for “authentic,raw” music and plan to live out the rest of their days on some empty patch of land living the kind of life of what they think a farmer in the early 30s wouldve lived like.
Only in their case the reason its hard to find any images of those people is because such things were never thought of being worth preserving in the first place that and the ugly racism that defined the era the people of that time period. So much lost to the passage of time and all that we can base anything on is what remains and the mythology that shrouds so many of the people that existed then.
I dont see the act of hiding your own identity at large from the rest of the world to be some kind of courageous effort, now more than ever at this time people associatie with narcisscistic internet trolls who want to spam journalitsts with beheading videos and insults to journalists who up until the advent of Twitter never came across those people before.
Its funny how so many people say they hate twitter like some vengeful uncaring god but keep coming back to it, i disliked it before i even started,just felt like a fundamentaly bad idea that could be manipulated so easily and yet what got me on it in the first place? A college course in politics (which i failed in) and a competition for headphones that i didn’t win in. I just thought since i had it laying about might aswell put it to good use.
In all the interactions i’ve had and people i’ve come across i can count on my hands the ones that truly meant something,the rest was probably just a byproduct of that.
But in it all some of them were a honest attempt to try and intergrate with groups that i felt i had some kind of connection with a place to “call my own” so to speak but instead my dumb ass was just overreaching.
If anything attempting to hide ones identity has never had lower stock than it has now if you’re not an abusive troll there’s a high chance that you might be one or a doxer or a luddite who just refuses to admit that privacy is dead.
Then there’s the real world issue of discrimination towards Muslims people who have no connection to a faith up and deciding they know whats right and what a underprivledged group of people can and can’t do,people only realising in the dying moments of last realising the experiment of social media was a resounding failure once people no longer had any jokes to shoot off any it all stopped being funny.
The stock in attempting has never been at a low like this, it wasn’t like this before and for many people its the only way they can had any shred of safety in amongst the wolves,but sadly thats how things have ended.
Every day accounts on youtube like LinkupTV and GRMdaily tend to post a couple videos usually on a Friday or a Sunday sometimes of the latest rappers coming up in the “UK Drill” scene, your opinion on the music may vary but one of the most common trends in videos (outside of arial drone shots, goons in a small space, that weird thing some songs do where the audio cuts from the song itself to all the guys in the video location bellowing out half a bar football chant style) is alot of them dont go bareface.
Clueless types first thought it had to do with MF DOOM of all people but i knew why they were rocking ballys,ski masks or cheap halloween masks, it reminded me of the days in grime when certain guys would have their hoodies closed in on their heads really tight so the only thing you could see was their eyes. Even without the reasoning i instinctivly knew why alot of them didnt show face in the first place.
DOOM is a funny one cause his reason to not show his face is part of his supervillian origin story equal parts silly Stan Lee influenced melodrama and the tragedy and attempt to dissaociate himself from his past in KMD. billy woods does it just cause he started off not giving the public anything and just kept going as a way of carving his own path.
If there was a way i could go about my life walking and looking foreward while behind me there was some kind of life broom sweeping away any kind of evidence that i had existed prior in a certain space i would take that, no need to constantly think about Apple,Google or any number of the few tech businesses attempting to own my life, no fear of being doxxed or being blocked anywhere….its a pipe dream but it’s one i cl
But as the world has become a more technology focused one we are forced to try and make sense of a language we dont understand, it used to be all in the name of “fun” becuase those were the days when we collectivly still bought into the idea that the internet was some kind of egalatarian free for all. Once that curtain was raised and it turned out that there acutally was no Garden of Eden to speak of only the same dreary scapes that were controlled by the same overprivledged people who owned everything except this time round they think they’re your friend because you and them both on the same Final Fantasy, Red Bubble produced shirt
It all feels like alot of discussions in certain subcultures happened too early but hardly anybody who was doing the talking thought it was nesessairy to do something “debate” too precident over everything meanwhile the ones who were doing all the leg work in the real shadows were carving up everything.
With some people that used to hang with me it was sometimes a joke, seeing me visibly squirm when they would take out a selfie stick on the bus or move out the way as far as possible when they were taking a photo cover my hood over my eyes anything. but once things went from bad to worse all of a sudden the one black breh in the crew wasn’t acting crazy if anything he was the canary in the coalmine and these were the people i thought were on top of shit.
I’ve got Tor and considered getting a VPN but i don’t know if thats the fear talking or taking legitmate saftey measures i get the feeling if i were to ask around some wouldn’t know either.
All i can say now is that looking back on everything from then up until now terrified assuming teen me was deathly right about certain kind of people who used
and if i could go back and talk to him i’d just say keep doing what you’re doing and don’t bother getting a email and to stay away from facebook and twitter….never follow your whims your assumptions were right all along.