chia was fifteen

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I recently shared a project for a video class from last semester on Twitter. Navigating girlhood through the internet, I realized much of my maturation occurred online. (This not being a good thing, clearly.) Coincidentally, I first showed it off to the general public in a place where it could rest as another permanent artifact of the internet.

Play Chia was Fifteen (PC)

( Best experienced on PC, these three parts were also intended to be some sort of installation — but it’s also quite navigable in this web format.

It’s interesting to think about the current generations condemned to live and die on the internet. Making this, I thought a lot of Nina Freeman’s Cibele¬†and vewn’s kittykat96. Both pieces explored blurs between reality and the online — but my experience didn’t really have that. There was a distinct boundary, and I chose to live the life I had online. I learned about the world there, found most of my friends on there to the point where I spent years talking to them through chat instead of ever conversing in real life. They were two distinct spheres and my memory only ever rests on the one left on the internet. My relationships were birthed and then killed through exchanged words, and I’ve written endless letters to dozens of people that will never be seen — that I can never talk to in-person.

As an effect, I could trace my being through cables and screens. It’s infinitely surreal and til this day, I’m convinced that I cannot be myself without this dimension. Not only was it formative, but it was where I continued to exist in. This is something I’ve taken a long time to cope with; the fact that the online did not only inform my experience but was where they all were lived out scares me. I feel this constant link and debt to it but have yet to settle on whether this is actually a bad thing.

Maybe this is really the product of life today. Perhaps we’ll settle on more narratives that exist only in this space. And for these eighteen years of words I have all the more to come.

chia was fifteen is extremely intimate and a revealing part of myself, but there’s no use in living if you do not say some things at the wrong times. I hope you enjoy, but most dearly do I hope you get to think.

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