When I found myself desperately searching my trash on my computer at 2:00 a.m. last
Saturday, I knew my nostalgia had hit a low point. The trash-turned-treasure that I was trying to find was not an important document, a resume I had accidentally deleted or even a lost photo. Instead, I was stuck pathetically searching for old text messages. Cursing my previously stronger, independent self who managed to outsmart her future weaker self by deleting the messages off the apparent face of the earth, I realized just how pathetic I was being.
I am a notorious over-thinker. If there’s anything to be thought about, odds are I’ve thought about it – twice over. This gets me in trouble more often than not, managing to drive myself – and those around me – crazy at a rather constant rate. Questions are constantly running through my head about what happened, what went wrong, what I did, what was said; I’m always stuck over-analyzing everything. Add social media and old text messages to the mix, and you’ve found yourself one overwhelmed over-thinker.
Our online history does nothing but perpetuate over-thinking, allowing for parts of our past to remain preserved – even the parts we wish to forget. Beyond the history of messages, we’re always being reminded of things we would rather not be reminded of on our social media. Social media has become the bane of an over-thinker’s existence, adding a whole other layer to what we can over-think. We’re stuck being reminded of the people we aren’t, having to unknowingly compete with people in our feed, or being reminded of the people we would rather forget. It places importance on things that shouldn’t matter, especially in romantic relationships, and when it’s time to move on, our social media past is sometimes all that we have left.
The perfect solution for an over-thinker is to shut everything off. Shut off the phone, silence those loud thoughts and realize that the past is in the past and there comes a point of over-thinking to a fault, which is what far too many of us so often get caught up in. An over-thinker’s least favorite, but probably most necessary step is the recognition that everything happens for a reason. It’s cliché, but it’s been proved far too many times not to be taken seriously.
As for my Saturday night dilemma, I never did find those messages. Along with my realization of how pathetic I was being, I realized that I don’t need old messages to figure out my past. I actually did myself a favor in deleting those messages, allowing myself one less thing to think about. After all, you have to find the delete button at some point, so why not now?