I read the following quote somewhere on the Internet a couple of weeks ago.
“In 100 years, there will be 500 million profiles on Facebook. Of dead people.”
And then I wrote a really morbid post. In fact, it was so morbid that if I had hit publish, my mom would’ve probably called me within minutes and threatened to disown me if I didn’t delete it. Ya. It was that bad y’all.
So I sat on it. And did what I always do: try to find a positive twist. And find I did.
Instead of thinking of 500 million profiles of dead people, why not use different words.
When you change your language (and therefore the framework with which you approach something), you change everything.
So, yes, it’d still be odd to have “friends” in the other world on Facebook. But wouldn’t it be nice if Facebook, other social networking sites and the Internet as a whole created a memory online. Consolidating all our online selves. Once people pass on in real life. Somehow.
Ok. So let me start from the beginning.
I’ve never met either of my grandfathers. They both passed away long before I was even born.
My mom always tells me that I’m a lot like her father. That he was a bookworm, too. When I visited my uncle’s home in Sri Lanka in 2004, I was so excited to find that he had kept some of my grandfather’s books. (My grandfather had owned literally rooms of books so my uncle couldn’t keep them all and had to donate most of the books to a library.)
I jumped up and down with glee when I first saw the collection. Ya. Books excite me that much. And then I opened the first book to discover there were swordfish bugs.** Or those silver bugs that eat paper and make old books their home. (**Note: I may or may not have just made up swordfish bugs. There is such a thing, right?)
Now I’m all about finding out more about my grandfather through his love of books and the kinds that he read and chose to line his bookcases with, but bugs will stop that quest. In a heart beat.
Now fast forward to today. Imagine he had had a list of fav books on amazon or better yet! Imagine he had written a blog.
I could easily click-clickity away without traveling thousands of miles or back in time to find out everything he believed in. Everything he was, breathed, liked, thought. Everything he wanted to share.
And that’s what is so cool about the future of the Internet, Facebook, Blogging, Vlogging.
Our kids and their kids and every future generation will have not only pictures of their ancestors but videos and words and thoughts and anything else we decide to put out there.
The Internet makes it possible for every kid in the future to have something that was only available for the descendants of:
(a) Einstein, Charles Dickens, any other published author
(b) famous actors/actresses, royal families and otherwise wealthy folk
Yup, you’ve guessed it. I’m suggesting that not only is the Internet making it possible for us to break down the barriers of entry with WordPress (the written word) and YouTube (videos) and the like today, but that it will also inevitably allow us to leave behind legacies which was an option only available to the elite few in the past.
Now imagine that.
This puts blogging and vlogging in a whole new light.
And our general online presence.
Everything we put online will live on, long after we’re gone. So every time you hit post, share or publish, ask yourself this: Is this what I want to be remembered by?
And my message to Facebook is this: find a way not to create an online graveyard but a memorial yard. Or something like that. And ensure that all “friends” links of the people who have passed on is disabled along with their walls. Basically find a way to turn a Facebook profile into an online book. One that cannot be changed in any way. But one that can be pulled off the proverbial shelf and read by anyone. Or wait. Maybe not anyone. Shouldn’t Facebook have an option for this somewhere? Kinda like a donor card.
The remnants of the morbid post I deleted are seeping into this one. Which could only mean one thing: I should stop writing.
If you’ve read this far, thank you for trusting me with your time. If I could, I’d give you some food. (like these beautiful cupcakes)
But I can’t. So hopefully, I’ve given you some food for thought :)
Have a happy happy day :)