Death of the Time-Capsule

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Remember the days before life was forever chronicled in an Internet Archive?

Recently, I came to the realization that nearly everything I do isn’t ever going away. Nearly every typo and heat-of-the-moment remark remains permanently stored — and indexed! — on search engines and social Web2.0 websites.

I wonder what my kids will think.

Over 14mm photos are uploaded to Facebook a day, with over 100,000 of them video. Twitter passed the 1Bn tweet mark a month or so ago, and though this blog has only existed for less than a year, it features over 25 posts.

Yes yes, I know: 25 posts pales in comparison to the Tumblratti’s diligence or ego-bloggers’ persistence; but, consider that  you can probably pick out only a dozen or so experiences from you childhood that had any significant bearing in your life. Further, only half of those would be worth mentioning in your [auto]biography. Now, we  share it all.

In kindergarten we assembled a time-capsule. Though it’s decades later and I’m near certain my teacher and classmates have long forgot about it, I remember the care and thought that went into selecting our objects and writing our messages. The exercise forced us to take stock about what’s important to communicate to future generations. In effect, we editorialized.

Nowadays, we inundate ourselves with lifestreams. And though every once in a while we unpack, sort, and sift through our user-generated monsters, in the moment, I don’t think we really take stock of every little piece of ourselves that we share– much less how they shape that beast. Now, the capsule is a timeline.

The implications are far too numerous to explore here; after all, this is just another moment on a blog.