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Is it worse for no one to remember a thing you did or for everyone to know everything you did?

It is becoming increasingly clear that all our thoughts, feelings, pictures and actions are now property of the internet and the world (as I write this I know that posted it will be under someone else's jurisdiction). Yet, we continue to do so despite the obvious and glaring problems with having the world know us intimately. So why?

Is it the classic notion that it is better to be remembered for something, anything, even terrible, than to live a life that no one will ever remember?

Or do we try to adapt ourselves to a new kind of communication without fully grasping the idea that delete does not destroy?

We are going to be remembered, all of us, in some fashion for the things we now post or are known for (as posted by someone else). I'm not sure whether we should want to be remembered intimately or fade away to general obsurity.

  • May 7 2013: I disagree with your question.

    I do not think it is a bad thing for no one to remember a thing I did.

    Similarly, it would not be bad for everyone to know everything I did.

    IMO, our notions about privacy are based on historical memes which are now being subjected to examination and analysis. This is good. It might result in more realistic and more rational expectations and policies about privacy.

    "I'm not sure whether we should want to be remembered intimately or fade away to general obsurity."

    Why do some people think that we "should" want something? Just decide what you want. Some people desire fame and some do not.
  • May 3 2013: Hi Joseph,
    You know, the thing that went through my mind as I watched Juan Enriquez's presentation was, "I am not making that permanent an I? I wish I was!" As an independent musician trying to market my music online, I keep hoping for the day my digital info goes viral and everybody knows about me!
  • May 4 2013: Yeah, sometimes it's great to find internet fame but then again are you sure that everything you have ever searched, viewed, been sent or sent to others, and posted presents you in the best light? Because if not that information is stored somewhere and waiting for that potential day wqhen you are seen to come out and bite you. Not that I am accusing you of anything, simply that the databases stored with our online personalities may be detrimental to us one day. Certainly we've seen both sides: the positive and negative. Unfortunately the negative gets more attention and it's worrisome that our lives are tracked and traded for entertianment, profit or news. But good luck with your music!! :)
    • May 4 2013: Hey Joseph,
      you're absolutely right; however, I have always made a point of being extremely selective about what I share online when it comes to my personal information. I learned from a very early age about the idea of digital tattooing, my dad was a professor of industrial design in the early 70's. We had a very early version of the world wide web running in our house when my friends were only just discovering Super Mario Brothers.

      At the end of the day, I don't have a lot to hide, but would never post something incriminating to myself or those I respect. I think twice, sometimes three times, about what I post, if it is appropriate, if it adds something, if it is something I want to have 'digitally tattooed' forever.

      When it comes to my music, a hope that digital tattoo will stick!