Every time I move, I find a few things I’d forgotten that I still had. A movie I borrowed and forgot to return, an old card, a shirt I don’t know why I never wore. The last time I moved, I noticed how few pictures I had from the previous few years. I felt sad for a minute, missing that moment of going to Walgreens or Kroger to pick up an envelope of glossy pictures to see what I’d snapped. And can you imagine finding a used roll of film and then having it developed? The excitement! Right?
Upon noting my sadness, I thought, “but no, Amy…you’ve taken MORE pictures. Tons of them. They’re just all on Flickr or Facebook.”
Life in the digital age means that we document more, but reflect less, maybe. Almost everything I’ve done for the last 10 years is represented in a blog, picture or video. My favorites are the videos, which I go back and watch when I miss Jen (she’s one of the few people who never had a problem acting a fool on YouTube).
Life in the digital age also means that everything is so easily disposable. I mean, you can have 100 pictures of you and your boyfriend and you can remove every single one of them in 5 minutes or less. Just type in the tag, select all, and hit delete. POOF. It’s like you never even knew him. That’s what everybody says you should do. Delete, delete, delete. I just put everything aside. All of the pictures, videos, songs and other ephemera were burned to a disk and safely tucked away on the closet shelf, next to a couple of prints, some shirts and a couple of cards. I did what they told me to do. I figured there was always time to throw things away later.
Facebook has changed us all over to the timeline layout, as of today. I’m guessing that a lot of people are being smacked in the face by the permanence of what we thought was so easy to delete. Someone has written a lovely blog about it.