Living in the past: email time-machine

Its kind of funny that we’re doing time travel in philosophy at the moment. It makes you think about the past, the future and all those time machine related movies like Back to the Future and Hot Tub Time Machine (I wish I had a time machine to stop myself from watching that film).

It’s funny because last night I stumbled across my own time wormhole. It was marvellous, and, horrible.  Searching through my email account with the exciting “search inbox” option I realised that I had emails tracing back to 2004. I’m an email hoarder now and was a email hoarder then at 14 years old so it probably shouldn’t have surprised me so much. And, as a Gen Y person a great hunk of my life has involved sitting in front of a glowing computer screen.

Now a sensible person would back away from the computer slowly and run like hell with arms flailing around like disjointed limbs. Do not engage with time wormholes, it never did Marty McFly any good now did he? Of course, I neglected the advice of hollywood films and poured through old emails like I was discovering relics of an ancient tomb. Now, while an ancient tomb may be filled with gold, mirth and frankincense its good to remember that somewhere there is a decayed, wrinkled mummified corpse. The mummy curse will get you in the end…

So while I first greeted my past high school life, emails of past-friendships, ex-boyfriends and deep “philosophical” musings like old friends the haunting soon became evident. The mummy curse had lifted its bandaged, deformed arms and made me forget that I was in a time-portal. Old worries were like rotten eggs that stung the nostrials in the email vault and a series of self-depreciating “what if? What if? Why?” started to become frantic as I searched for answers in the inbox.  It is a mistake to think that your past self will be some fortune teller into the future and solve everything, all that your past-self can tell is of things of the past. And looking back? You’re only going to see the shit stuff:  regret.

If it wasn’t for my Mum breaking the curse (she wanted to use the computer so I logged off) I could have been trapped for hours contemplating my past. Worms holes to the past are everywhere, they used to be just in the form of handwritten scrawl like letters and diaries but now in the modern age our past lives cannot die. They live forever online, in your mobile phone inbox, facebook accounts, email inboxes.  Some of these things are beyond our control my computer used to automatically save all my MSN instant messaging conversations. A little excessive isn’t it?

In philosophy our Time Travel lectures has these theories summed up nicely, you cannot change the past, or the present because the present is relied on the happenings of the past. But I suppose we can learn from them, so note to self: avoid wormholes.  Do something productive instead like reading Jane Austen or having a nice cup of tea.



Filed under article, blogging, life, past, philosophy, pop culture, thinking, thoughts, time, time machine, writing

4 responses to “Living in the past: email time-machine

  1. Pingback: More Time Travel: Can I go back in time to save myself the agnoy of watching “Hot Tub Time Machine?” | Freedom Tights!

  2. Shan, I often get stuck in wormholes of journals – I was an obsessive journal-keeper as a teen. Now it’s a more constructive form in my notebooks, but the journals are still on my shelf. And I tell you what, some of it really plays with your head when you get to reading it. I find myself feeling how I felt when I wrote it, whether that’s good or bad. And when I stop reading, it’s like coming back from somewhere.
    I get exactly what you mean by wormholes, and it’s DANGEROUS STUFF!

    • freedomtights

      I have sooo many journals! I have them tracing back to about 10 years old. Its like someone else in the pages. I use my old stuff sort as references for some writing, it does help me remember but its not good to live in these worm holes.

  3. Grace Mc

    oh shan i know what you mean. i love going through old e-mails, generally because the reason i kept them is coz they made me laugh. classic jokes, hilarious photos, or just really cool photos.
    i never keep the inspiring stories though. they make me depressed. whats with that?!

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