Stuff I Found

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Death and social networks

According to this article:

... once Facebook finds out that a user has died, that person’s profile is automatically memorialized. What this means is that for thirty days, sensitive information (status updates and contact information, for example) is taken off the page, the profile can only be looked at by friends (the friend list is also locked), and people are able to post messages and photos on the person’s Wall.

Hmmm... interesting... I look forward to my profile being memorialized... sometime in the 2200's I hope. I've often wondered what would happen to all this online stuff I create, all my profiles spread around the net, after I die. Will they last forever, permanently ingrained on some servers somewhere? Or will future generations just delete them? It's strange because right now we're among the first generations that are aging with the Internet, aging with the opportunity to use Facebook and Twitter and blogs for decades into our lives. In 100 or 200 or 300 years from now, will our info still be around somewhere?

It's also strange because right now, if we want to study the 1700's, say, we have a limited amount of historical resources. We might still have a lot, but compared to all the information that will be digitally saved through these current decades, historians in 2300 will have way too much information. They will go crazy and be mentally ill. Oh well. Serves 'em right.

Or... what if some natural disaster happens and most of our digital files are erased?! Bum bum bum ... !!


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