Posted by: Trisha Leigh | June 24, 2011

Things I Learned From Batman (Part Last)

There are two sides to every coin. This isn’t a big revelation or anything, but that simple truth is what makes Two Face my favorite Batman villain. He’s so real, so damaged, and the fact that his pain and anger stem events far outside his control make him impossible to hate.

There’s a dark and light to everything. I recently had an experience that reminded me this is also true about the internet.

In the past couple of years, since I embraced Twitter and found the incredibly supportive writing and publishing community there, the internet has given me piles of beautiful gifts. Friends. Support. Critique partners. Knowledge. I’ve met the people who make me laugh, who can talk nonsense for hours, who I can discuss books and movies and whatever I feel like. I’ve formed deeper friendships with a handful, and honestly, getting through the last eighteen months would have been unthinkable without them. I’ve met many in real life, and am so pleased to call them “real life” friends as well.

We all know the internet can be creepy. There are a lot of weirdos out there, and we have to be careful and safeguard our personal lives to some extent. What happened to me a few weekends ago, though, reminded me of something else we’ve lost with the advent of online communities – the ability to forget.

I received a Facebook message from a girl I hadn’t spoken to in twelve years. She and I weren’t friends, exactly, but spent a lot of time together one summer when we dated roommates. The message was to me, and those two boys we dated twelve years ago. One boy, in particular, that this girl *points thumbs* has tried like hell to forget. I’ve failed on occasion, sure. A song, a smell, a wisp of a dream reminds me he’s alive, that we don’t know each other anymore, and every piece of me struggles to breathe for the few seconds it takes to push the memory away.

Still, I’ve tried. I try. And most of the time, I succeed.

But, because of this lovely thing called the internet, there his face was in my inbox.

It wasn’t a big deal. Her message made me smile, and remember good things and happy times. It also made me think. About how this digital age makes it hard to forget, even if we want to. It makes it harder to let go of things and people better left in the past where they belong.

Two Face tries pretty hard (and most often succeeds) to forget he was Harvey Dent. I can’t help but think forgetting Batman, and revenge, would have been the answer to his problems. Fixating on Batman meant a constant reminder of who he used to be, creating his inability to move on and live a (disfigured) life.

In the end, I wouldn’t trade the bounty of wonderful people I’ve met and relationships I’ve formed online for the ability to not be weirdly confronted with my past on the rare occasion. It’s a trade off I’m willing to make.

What I’m watching right this minute: So You Think You Can Dance. And yes, I’m crying a little.

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Responses

  1. Great post! So true. Pixels aren’t dulled by time the way memories are, and can cut when you least expect it. The price we pay for our digital lives, I guess.

    • I think it’s a price worth paying. Sometimes we forget what we’ve given up, though.

  2. I can totally relate. We just need to focus on the people in the “here & now” who make us smile and laugh and think. We’ll get through it together. (On a related note: I’m so glad I met you through Twitter, which allowed me to meet you in real life! The internet DOES have its perks.) 🙂

    • You are most definitely one of the bigger perks of the internet, Rita. I’m so glad we’re friends and to know someone else out there gets it.

  3. Loved this post. So true on so many levels. And I’m happy to have met YOU.

    • Thank you, and likewise. We can understand and bolster each other’s spirits when others can’t. It’s a nice upside. 🙂

      • It really is! There’s so much I can talk about with Twitter friends that my friends and family can’t understand/sympathize with. I’m glad I have that.

  4. Well said, my friend. Well said.


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