Written by Sophie Milrom
JFK once said that “those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” Dwelling on the past is human nature. We scrutinize, romanticize and often ruminate over events and people that have already come and gone. But it’s futile to dwell on things that can’t be changed, so focusing on what lies ahead is a better use of our resources.
Once a week, people all over the World Wide Web indulge themselves in what once was. Every Thursday everyone seems eager to remind me how much fun they had in 2001 or how tan they were in 2007. I frankly don’t see the point in “throwing back.” It’s not that I don’t care about my friends and Lena Dunham (the only celebrity I follow); I’m just much more interested in where they’re going than where they’ve been.
That’s why I propose Fast Forward Fridays. Inspiration is so much more interesting than nostalgia. I’m pretty sure the CEO of Pinterest would agree. In all seriousness, social technology is used for the purposes of connecting. And watching people comment on each other’s old summer camp photos feels a lot like sitting in a café eavesdropping on two girls talking endlessly about their ex-boyfriends: boring.
At the beginning of yoga it’s common to set an intention for the class. Even though mine are normally generic and we don’t even say them out loud, explicitly making that goal explicit seems to help it become reality. If even a fraction of social media activity was aspirational instead of reminiscent, a lot of potential could be unlocked. Public accountability is the premise of Weight Watchers. This is like goal watchers.
Here are five examples of potential Fast Forward Friday posts:
(1) you’re hoping to get a promotion at work: take a picture behind the desk of a corner office
(2) doing a vegan cleanse is on your bucket list: get all artsy with your camera in the produce aisle
(3) you’ve always wanted to learn how to cook: go for a selfie with an apron on
(4) Jay-Z is on tour and you’re saving up to buy tickets: tweet your favorite lyrics
(5) backpacking through Europe is your dream: pose with a beret, a pair of wooden clogs, an Manchester soccer jersey, or whatever else floats your Venitian gondola
(Disclaimer: I have one #tbt post. It’s a picture of Moses from Prince of Egypt captioned “Throwback to when my ancestors interned in Egypt. #freelabor)
Now what would yours be? It is Friday, after all.