Imagine 100, 200, even 300 years from now you’re great,great, great, great, great, great grandkids will be able to trace their genealogy through social media. You know what they’re going to find? You are the end of the line of traceable genealogy. That’s right all those generations that came before you were born before history was recorded. Not only will your great, great, grandkids be able to see how terribly you dressed, but how you acted in college, what you actually thought about Obama, and what you thought about your own parents in high school.
I would like to think that this accessibility to history will now make generations more relatable, make views and perspectives more understandable.
I know for me trying to understand my own grandparents perspective on things is like trying to link reality to a black-and-white photo.
I would not be surprised if Facebook generated a “Wikipedia” style summary of each person based upon Facebook input. Your kids will be able to get a quick summary of your life with the basics of your academic and workplace highlights as well as who you dated and how long. Which way you have changed in your political views as well as your religious values.
Imagine Facebook selling postmortem statistics on your profile, how many likes you put on conservative/liberal pages how many comments you posted on articles, what those comments said. Facebook will be able to put together a nearly perfect picture of all of your political views, some comments you probably wish you didn’t say, some “black-mailable” results based upon your actions over the years. There will come a time when we submit a copy of the death certificate to Facebook officials and they will send us every action that you’ve ever made online so that we can better understand our lost loved one.
But I wonder do we really want to know each other this well? Will it bother us when our kids can see how much we have changed over the years how much we have contradicted ourselves? We tend to view history and past generations as unenlightened, for instance imagine your role model grandfather having a platform to voice his opinion on segregation in the 50s or 60s… he was culturally normal, but culture has often got it wrong. Will role models be harder to come by?
Will future generations see us as more wiser and more experienced when we give advice or just hypocritical? Just as a president of a country deals with constant transparency and controversy we too have now thrown ourselves into the fishbowl.
If someone wants to be offended it won’t take long for them to find issue with our beliefs.
This all to say consider the legacy you are leaving with each character you are typing…