Ah, the necropost. Everyone who has been online for enough time has seen it. Someone comments on an old post — sometimes years and years old — that no one has interacted with in ages as though the post were new and fresh. It’s especially funny when it’s not evergreen content, when the original post is strictly timebound, something like: “So I’m going out Saturday, and I want to try a new restaurant. Anyone have a favorite Chinese restaurant near me?”
And the Saturday in question is now seven plus years ago, and someone emerges with a fresh opinion, thirty comments down, long enough for the original inquiry to be declared legally dead.
Not all posts are so time-locked of course. But still. There’s a whole range here.
I have a particular fondness for necroposting — not doing it of course, I try hard not to necropost. But I’m always amused when I see it in the wild. It makes me laugh. I don’t know why.
Necroposting in My Mind
Anyway, it occurred to me the other day that as much as I laugh at necroposting when it happens online — and as much as I try hard not to do it online, that I’m guilty of doing something similar mentally.
I necropost in my mind. This typically takes the form of ruminating about some tiny mistake that happened years ago, some minor social blunder that likely barely anyone noticed at the time and surely no one else remembers. But there I am, obsessing over it, committing the mental equivalent of offering Chinese restaurant recommendations 7 years too late.
It’s foolish. No one else cares. There are better things to attend to.
And yet… there I am in the darkness, playing greatest hits over and over in my mind that aren’t really hits to anyone else. Not really. They never took off in the first place.
No More Necroposting (or at Least Less of It)
I’m putting my foot down. I’m making a commitment. No more mental necroposting — or at least less of it. Or at least I’ll try.
I’m sure I’ll drift back there sometimes — the mental equivalent of typing up a screed on a long obsolete post before noticing the date. I’ll stop hitting send at least. I’ll delete the rant and close the browser.
What does this look like mentally? I suppose I’ll figure it out. But it seems like a good place to start is to compare such rumination to necroposting, let it serve as a cognitive interrupt, which should help me to laugh at it and hopefully stop the behavior earlier than I used to.