To your 16-year-old self

The latest meme to sweep Twitter involves the hashtag “tweetyour16yearoldself.” If you have no idea what that sentence meant, here’s the translation: Post a tweet (140 characters or less) to yourself when you were 16. Some people instead posted a tweet that they would have posted at age 16.

Both resulted in some long walks down memory lane. I only have time to skim my Twitter friends list, but I saw some responses that made me think, “Awww, to be young again.” One friend mentioned a plaid hair scrunchie, which reminded me of the ones I used to make. Yes, I made a plaid one — and my nit-picky self made sure the pattern matched perfectly at the ends I sewed together. (And, wow, there’s a scrunchie.com website.)

Naturally, I loved the one another friend posted: “Honey, you’re gonna run a marathon someday.” I also liked, “Invest in Google.”

I posted, “He’s not worth it.” Needless to say, my teenage self wouldn’t have listened to my own advice. In fact, many years later, I’m still slow to take that advice. (At some point, he’s worth it, right? Right??)

If you could give your teenage self 140 characters of advice, what would you say? Would you tell her she’d one day laugh at that big hair? Would you advise him that Hammer pants are not cool? Would you get serious and say that loved ones won’t always be there?

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6 Responses to To your 16-year-old self

  1. Carrie says:

    I thought it was cool to see how many tweets showed that the person’s life is currently much, much better than it was when they were 16. Best days of your life, my ass – anybody who believes that has never been a teenager. So many posts boiled down to “Get some perspective. This stuff you’re worrying about is temporary and not really a big deal.”

  2. Jose says:

    I still giggle by capitalizing the E, 16yearoldsElf :p
    Serious response, I have regrets but I try not to dwell on them. For better or worse every mishap, misstep and setback helped me to become the man I am today.
    Nice thing about kids, in a way I’m telling them what I would have told a younger me, because in a way – they are.

  3. Deanne Lowenstein says:

    Mine would definitely be “Don’t give up on yourself.” I still don’t heed to that advice.

  4. katekirk says:

    You saw my tweet, which was probably more sad/dramatic than I actually am as a person but I posted it because of all the people reading the thing and figured maybe it would have an impact on someone — which is why I love love love Twitter. I would never have guessed at 16 that I’d become a runner, let alone a marathoner, so that one rings true. But the thing that hit me most was how many people look back and realize that the person they were at 16 is at heart the person they still are at 25, 30, 45, whatever…it’s life’s experiences that gives you the real backbone to realize and proclaim it.

  5. Tricia says:

    I just posted mine this morning: “Grow out your bangs.” I think a lot of life can be determined by the hair that you keep (or don’t keep) and good and bad hair days. In my case, the bangs were just holding me back!