I struggled with the correct pronouns the last time I wrote the letter. I mean, we’re the same person, so how do I address myself? In the end, I decided to exclusively use second-person pronouns, which I will be continuing for simplicity’s sake.
Think about all the things you love. Think about your television shows, movies, books, websites, videos, podcasts, everything. You have lots of interests. Now, think ten years into the future. How many of those things will still be relevant, then? How many of those things will you care about?
Very few. Yes, you would still tune in on those television shows when the turned on the marathons of the rerun channel. You might listen to those songs occasionally. But on the whole, all of the things you like will soon be obsolete.
Don’t kid yourself. Your kids aren’t going to know who “Lady Gaga” or “Justin Beiber” is, unless they hear their songs played on the ‘00s radio channel. I mean, how many pop artists from your mother’s time can you name?
And you know the books you read? Forget about it. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight- they’re not going to be read. Or they will, sitting on library shelves, alone. Perhaps Harry Potter has gained a second life because of parents reading it to their kids, but other than that, the books you love won’t be known or understood or cared for. And even if they are, they won’t be read in the same way that you read them, along with a whole generation.
Don’t even get me started on technology. iPods? Obsolete. The blue laptop you spent so many hours typing on? Obsolete. The television where you watched your favorite shows? Obsolete. Even the kitchen appliances you own are things of the past in their current form.
However, the same thing goes for the things you hate. In the future, nobody cares about Divergent or Inkheart or Maniac Magee. Your kids couldn’t tell you who any of the crash-and-burn reality TV stars were in 2011. They couldn’t talk about The Other Guys, or Katy Perry, or the war between Harry Potter and Twilight.
And why should I be telling you of this seemingly bleak world that seems to be devoid of everything you love and hate? Because I’m telling you to not be tied to what you love. Don’t close your mind because somebody doesn’t like the books or music that you do, because chances are nobody will have heard of it in ten years. Don’t spend constant hours in front of the computer squabbling over the internet on whose interests are better. Don’t post about your hate of Divergent all over Internet message boards because it doesn’t matter.
Very few things are wastes of time, Kirsten, but those things are one of them. While those discussions can sometimes be good and profitable pastimes, usually they’re not. Usually, they just separate you from others even more than you already are, and I regret spending so many hours moaning about the things I hate.
But I’m not telling you to have no interests. No, of course not. Love what you love and hold it dear. I’m just trying to put things into perspective, because what seems to you as massively important will just disappear. So don’t sling mud on websites and chatrooms that won’t exist in a few years. Take all the good you have learned from the things you love: character, experience, skill, intelligence, awareness, and all other things that one can gain from media. Take it and bring it out into the world. Because that, Kirsten, is what is truly important about the things you love.