Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Is social media the new journaling?

You know what’s weird for me? When I see a “Like” or a “Comment” come up on my Facebook alerts on something I said or did ages ago but had forgotten about until a friend or relative who rarely uses Facebook gets on and likes or comments on it. This can be kind of fun too because then I look back and see that thing I said and wonder why I said it.
After going back through my Facebook feed for the last few months I found a few posts I had forgotten I had made:
Recently I posted this while on my honeymoon. I still forgot I had said it. 

This was after I saw Patrick Stewart speak at Comic Con

It's still true.

I have a problem with math...

This honestly nearly killed me. 

What I’ve realized though is that I write on Facebook more than my journal, and since Facebook will theoretically hang on to my posts forever, has Facebooking become the new journaling?
My niece, Bella. She just turned 6.
It’s certainly become the new way to communicate with friends. I have literally hundreds of friends on Facebook I would never know anything about if it wasn’t for what they post, and vice versa. I have no idea how people stayed in touch with so many people before social media. Either they wrote a billion people a month or they just forgot about everyone they've ever met. 

I love sea food, so much so that while eating I resemble a killer whale.
I appreciate it for planning events. Nearly all my events are now planned exclusively through Facebook, though that’s for better or worse. The friends I have who don’t use the system (And yes I have a few, my sister being one of them), tend to get overlooked when fun things are abound and shennegains are afoot.
But aside from that, are we going to be remembered for our Facebook posts?
His family was away that weekend so I spent the night. Yay bro dates!
I remember a few years ago when President Henry B. Eyring gave a talk on keeping a journal and then journaling became almost like a fad in the church. Everyone talked about how they would be read for generations to come, so I wonder if one day people’s Facebook or Twitter feeds will be kept in big granite vaults along with pioneer journals and artifacts, and you know what?
I like it.
Just laugh it's funny.
I know a lot of people see Facebook as a waste of time and empty but I see it as a reflection of our digital age. I like the idea of my hypothetical grandkids reading my posts on Captain Picard and how I did on my finals with a smile because that’s who their ancestor was in that time. I want them to see my wife and I flirt with each other in our early relationship and how my friends and I would banter online.
Of course it’s not all roses. Ownership laws have yet to catch up with the tech, so it could easily come into dispute as to who owns the rights to Great Grandpa Joe’s Facebook feed down the line, and what level of editing has it gone through since the initial rant on the lines at the post office. And while the vaults are a good concept, how big of computers would be required to store millions of people’s Facebook, and for that matter Twitter, Instagram and Pintrest feeds as well after they’ve been added to for decades. I think that if lost or tampered with it would be a loss to mankind as a whole, since this is the first time in history where a majority of the culture is literate and has the freedom to express themselves however they want.
I don't often get poetic, but this hit during a particularly annoying
bout of studying. 
To me what we have here is a unique way to express ourselves that can be saved for future generations like never before. Working for a genealogist I have seen people who the only things we know about them is what was written on a few ledgers 200 years ago, and usually that was their name, occupation, age, and what they attended. I’ve worked on whole families where all we have is a birth record, a marriage record, and a death record, but who were these people? What did they think? Who did they love? What stories did they have?
Maybe our ancestors won’t have those questions. Maybe they’ll look at our old Facebook quotes and know who we were and how we were, and maybe that’s an amazing thing.


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