In the midst of our daily interactions on Twitter, Facebook (etc.), we act as content creators and curators – posting witticisms, complaints, inspirational quotes, funny pics, personal reminiscences and photos, etc. We do this as a matter of course; it is increasingly a part of how-we-live.
We don’t think much about our digital footprints … except on those occasions when our conservative relatives warn us about being “too out there” or forward along scary articles about online privacy invasions and cyberbullying (all of which we breezily ignore).
Friends of ours post pics of their young kids on Facebook, often at the rate of 3X a day. I’ll admit, sometimes I think “enough is enough,” but you know what? – I look at each one and always smile. They’re darned cute.
It occurred to me that these kids will have a rich record of their early lives: assuming Facebook survives into the next few decades, they’ll be able to literally scroll down a Timeline of their earliest days. They’ll see thousands of examples of their parents when they were young and vibrant and cool and loving. It will be a nice thing for them to share with their own spouses and children, someday: it’ll be the photo album that scrolls rather than collects dust on an old bookshelf. Best of all, those photos will be surrounded by contextual, historical elements that will paint our friends’ lives with richer hues: subsequent generations will understand their political views, laugh at their jokes years hence, ponder LOLcats’ philosophical underpinnings, etc.
A lot of people didn’t care for the Timeline layout when it first debuted on Facebook. But look at it again in this light. Think about the thick rope of digital memory that you may be crafting for your own kids and grandkids. Kinda cool.
Posted on: June 22, 2012 at 10:45 am By Todd Defren