Query: How tough is it to delete an unfavorable memory?
Answer: Harder than you think.
I have suffered some collateral damage in this technological move away from MySpace. Mainly, the dredging up of past "acquaintances" that I had previously believed would never make their way into my mind again.
It reminds me of when I got my newer cell phone, and while waiting in the customer service coral or Abt Electronics, thought it would be best to "purge" some of the contacts stored into my phone over the previous years. It's very easy to delete a phone number. It's usually a great "goodbye for good" gesture - especially when you realize the phone was inputted into that device for romantic reasons. They've even made cell phone commercials about the empowerment of answering "yes" to "Are you sure you want to delete..." question.
But when I recently joined Facebook, and allowed them to pillage my Hotmail contacts searching for "Friends" already on Facebook - I was met with too many ghosts of dates gone wrong. It's one thing to delete a phone number from the parking lot of a brew pub, having just invested $50 in a date that went nowhere - it's another thing entirely to go home and delete all the digital footprints these people created on your hard drive.
My emotions ran the spectum as I had to answer if any of these women from my past are "Friends." Of course, some are still friends. Most famously, my first date of my life was engaged last weekend. Sure, the date was the Disney movie Bambi, and we were accompanied by her Mom (and that the date was somewhere in the time frame of 1986). But nonetheless we are still friends.
However, then there were the girls who I would have liked to never have been reminded ever again...
For example, that girl who I bought flowers for last Valentine's Day or the girl who I stupidly bought a NASCAR themed teddy bear. (As I write this I still realize how easily I spend money on girls - however it is getting better. I spent exactly $3 on the last gift for a girl on a date: temporary tattoos that were probably more successful as the flowers and bear combined, however... well, that's another story)
Memories of how stupid I could act under these contexts. All in time for one of the worst twenty minute stretches of the year (11:45 pm 12/31 to 12:05 am 1/1).
But then there were images of girls who had clearly found love after meeting me (for their last names where now happily affixed with new monikers). And the girls who I honestly don't remember dating at all. These left me with pangs of melancholy.
The moral of this story is to remember how much technical discipline is needed to get someone out of your life in the 21st century. Delete them from your cell phone, remove them a friend on MySpace/Facebook, DOUBLE-Delete her e-mails (oh yeah, you know you'll be scrounging in that deleted items bin sooner than later), make sure your iPod doesn't have a hidden playlist - maybe a mixtape you made featuring stupid songs from romantic comedies that were viewed.