Anthony LaFauce wrote a compelling article for the Social Times called “History Will Not Judge Social Media”. Just to sum it up, Anthony believes that since we have become such a digital culture, we have nothing analog to store everything we do, thus our identities will be lost forever. The internet and digital information are a bit like thoughts: you can create them and share them with others, and they can even be recalled … but they are not tangible things that can be stored for someone else to look at. For me, this article brought up the question that many people ask themselves, “How will I be remembered?”
Nobody knows how long the internet or culture as we know it will last, that much is obvious. When the technology changes, what will happen to everything that we have created in our digital worlds? All of the blog posts, pictures, comments, etc. could be like the ideas of past generations that were never acted upon or written down. This seems like a heavy subject, but I decided that I won’t let it weigh me down.
I don’t think that everything we have achieved will be lost at all. If you think about it, not many things are ever truly or fully erased. Many people have found that it is actually quite easy to find lost or deleted files on their hard drives. You can even go back days, months and years to see a comment that someone posted on the internet. Everything is stored somewhere. Short of nuclear devastation or a direct asteroid hit, that should not change. If one really were paranoid that their contributions to the world could be lost forever, start creating backups. As Anthony states, print out your posts, comments and pictures so you can have something to show your kids when the internet is gone (is that even possible at this point?).
I think the main point here is that if you have enough faith in yourself and your message is broadcast to the world, it will be remembered – either by you or others. No one wants to be forgotten, but I don’t believe that anyone – or anything – ever truly is gone. So don’t worry about how people 140 years from now will discover and watch your video blog. Chances are it will still be around in one form or another.
UPDATE: Just saw this video and thought it had a lot to do with how everyone will be remembered. Thanks Gary!