Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Web Secret 591: The end of forgetting

As I write this, it is 9/11/19, and today, the New York Times published an article about the fact that in many TV shows and movies of old, the image of the Twin Towers has been deleted so as not to distress viewers.

This made me think about a New Yorker article I read about the indelibility of social media. The author, Nausicaa Renner, writes: "These days, it’s common to find an image emerging, unbeckoned, from the reservoir of the past. We spend hours wading through streams of photos, many of which document, in unprecedented ways, our daily lives. Facebook was invented in 2004.

By 2015, Kate Eichhorn writes in “The End of Forgetting: Growing Up with Social Media,” people were sharing thirty million images an hour on Snapchat, and British parents “posted, on average, nearly two hundred photographs of their child online each year.” For those who have grown up with social media—a group that includes pretty much everyone under twenty-five—childhood, an era that was fruitfully mysterious for the rest of us, is surprisingly accessible. According to Eichhorn, a media historian at the New School, this is certain to have some kind of profound effect on the development of identity. What that effect will be we’re not quite sure." (my emphasis)

So, like everything happening with tech these days, we have no clue about impact.

We muddle through - never proactively - everything that comes our way.

Forgetting may no longer be an option.

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