Chat archive

I just discovered my WhatsApp chat archive. Since Northwestern, I’ve not had a reason to use it.

Opening it and reading the messages was like a blast from the past. Everything had been carefully preserved by the chat app now owned by Facebook. Messages, photos, attachments, groups. Everything.

Over one summer, a group of us organized a massive distribution of graduation hoodies to be mailed individually to each student. We terrified the local postmaster when we just showed up with the boxes.

It was really an archive, in the fullest digital sense of the word.

It is a record of me.

The things I cared about. The language I used. The people I messaged.

So much of that has changed that I don’t recognize those messages anymore. So much of me has changed that I don’t recognize that Leo anymore.

Who was that? Who was I? Who am I? Who have I become?