On nostalgia and the seduction of the compression of time and space

A scene from a high school film: Jack Stricklin tossed into our backyard swimming pool by Jon Stillman c. 1970

A few weeks ago I discovered the Facebook page for Strandwood Elementary School, my alma mater, nestled into the quiet suburbs of Pleasant Hill about 30 miles east of San Francisco. Here, we are reliving our childhood, dredging up memories long forgotten, restaging old battles, spinning impossible stories, a tradition straight out of the village life, except our village is global and telematic. This is the village of the post reality. We are virtual characters popping out of each other’s scrapbooks. we are dreams of childhood come to life via the network. we are distributing photos and film footage and anything we can find to piece together and bring back the past that can now exist in some timeless space on our computer screens. It is compulsive and endlessly entertaining to immerse oneself in a shared history only possible in the age of social media. Everything we have ever done, thought or knew can now be archived and indexed for eternity.