There’s a part of me that wishes I was a teenager now, in the age of Facebook. And there’s a part of me that’s glad I’m not.

When I was a young lad, I used to fall in love at the drop of a hat, and be utterly and totally besotted with various young ladies (usually more than one at once). There was one particular girl who I was obsessed with for about 5 years (but never actually had the courage to do anything about, beyond name a MUD character after her). I met her at a New Year’s Eve party at about 15, and the first time I saw her I was smitten. I still would maintain that she is one of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen. Probably now one of the most beautiful ladies, but I haven’t actually seen her for about 15 years now!

I digress.

Anyway – luckily (for me) at said party, I had my handy camera with me, so I discretely (or so I thought) snapped some shots of her, so I wouldn’t have to survive without being able to gaze upon her image adoringly.

When the pictures came back – every single one of them was her, and she was slap bang right in the middle of the frame. I must have taken about 3 rolls, of her, with no possible doubt at all. Of course, I then had to show said photos to friends.. “Um, this is Heather*. So is this. Ah – this is back of Heather’s head. This is her face again. Here she is in profile. Oo – that might be Jonny just in the back of that shot, behind Heather. This is me and Heather.”

Absolutely mortifying, as then the whole world knew the extent of the crush I had on her.

Fast forward 15 years, and here’s Facebook. I do a bit of youth work, so I’m friends with various teenagers on said social networking site – and it would have been a dream. I could have gazed adoringly at photos of my beloved until the cows came home. Here’s some examples:

  1. Young lady – 272 photos
  2. Another young lady – 180 photos
  3. young lady – 336 photos
  4. our ex-babysitter – 592 photos (!)

Girls don’t miss out either, although I’ve no evidence that they are as sad as boys in that regard:

  1. Young man – 206 photos
  2. Young man – 256 photos
  3. Young man – 257 photos

These haven’t been specially chosen either – just random clicks on the list of 16-19 year old guys and girls from the youth group list.

So why am I glad I’m not a teenager now. Well, actually because of the number of photos!! Already unhealthy obsessions would have turned terminal: Cyberstalkers-r-us. You can have too much of a good thing, especially when it wasn’t that good to start with.

From the other end, the pressure of knowing every time you went to a party (or even just to school), your every move, bad hair/skin day, or wardrobe misfunction would soon be posted for the world to see.

My current crush isn’t on Facebook, and I don’t have very many pictures of her either. On the other hand, I’ve been married to her for the last ten years, and see her pretty much every day, so I don’t mind so much. 🙂

*Those who already know this will know her real name. Those who don’t don’t need to. 🙂