Why I Started ‘Twenty Questions’ And Why We Shouldn’t Erase Our Social Media Histories

08.04.18

Last week I bumped into a girlfriend at a cafe in the city. Well, actually she spotted me.

I was perched in one of those corner seats with my laptop and coffee, simultaneously wading through emails and Man Repeller when Lucy’s face suddenly appeared. Her name isn’t actually Lucy but to protect her privacy we’re going to call her that. Lucy! Luce. Lulu. An icon.

We hadn’t seen each other in a couple of months so she sat down and we chewed the fat for about fifteen minutes. In the middle of our conversation she brought up an incident that had happened a few weeks ago and it reminded me of why I started The Twenties Club and, more specifically, ‘Twenty Questions’.

Lucy was out drinking with friends when someone brought up her Twenty Questions interview in front of the group. The guy made some sub-par attempt at comedy by calling her “famous”. Realising she hadn’t seen the article since it’s initial debut on the blog eight months ago, Lucy grabbed the iPhone and started reading. She couldn’t believe it. In the eight short months that had passed since first filling out my questionnaire, her life was completely different. She was completely different.

For starters, she was no longer in a relationship with the boyfriend she had so sweetly spoken of, but her career was heading in a different direction, her confidence had grown, her sense of self had improved. Lucy’s essence (my words not hers, I’m v dramatic) was different.

She confessed that at first she cringed. Embarrassed that this version of herself -a version she doesn’t really identify with anymore – existed on the Internet, but now saw it as simply a souvenir from a fleeting moment in her twenties that would have otherwise passed her by. Doing Twenty Questions forced her to pause and take stock of her life and almost a year later she had this kind of reference sheet of changes that had occurred and ways she had evolved – for better or for worse.

But the main thing we both noted was just how much changes while you’re in this decade. It’s what makes twenty-somethings so unique and ultimately so inspiring to me. You’ve all heard that saying that “life can change in an instant” but those instances occur sixty thousand more times when you’re here. In this little clusterf*ck of experiences we call “our twenties”.

There have been so many times when I’ve wanted to delete something I wrote two years ago because it made me cringe. I felt like I didn’t write in that style anymore, I felt that my ego had (thankfully) deflated, and like Lucy, my sense of self had grown (to be fair my dry humour – much to your disappointment – remains steadfast). I mean, I literally once wrote an article about the rise of “ath-leisure fashion”. An article I had no business in writing and served absolutely no purpose. But I shouldn’t delete those essays. And I won’t.

The versions of ourselves that exist in old letters or essays, photo albums and videos or, God forbid, the Internet are worth preserving. If for no other reason than reminding us of the boys we once loved and the egos we once had.


Header image by Holly Burgess for The Twenties Club