It’s super easy to find and enjoy stuff from 100 years ago now. Try saying that in 1980! Of course artifacts, books and photos have been around for much longer, but now we can simply type in whatever takes our fancy and if they’re any good, you can find a film clip or some music, in the comfort of your own home/bed. Such a broad and rich source of culture. I remember having to physically go to the National Library to ‘research’ anything to put together some primary school scrapbook.
Now you can find 3 centuries’ (hmm, yes “19th, 20th and 21st”) worth of footage from ITN Source, for instance. On youtube/vimeo/etc anything and everything gets airtime – one doesn’t have to be famous. In 60 years’ time you can watch a video of your late grandfather’s teen angst-y video response on youtube. If youtube still exists then.
World’s oldest film, according to youtube – filmed in Leeds in 1888. Of all places!
People won’t be too happy if youtube or facebook or any major personal repositories dissolve along with years of collective personal history. We now have a situation where most of our info resides not (just) with us but on outside ‘resources’. Like, say your hard drive gets wiped out. But your video is still on Youtube. Your pictures and friends are still on Facebook. And hooray for Google Docs! Oh yes, your mobile contacts are on Mobyko. Phew. You don’t even pay any of them!
But we must be paying somehow. Data – obviously. Advertising revenue – targeted -> privacy issues. Add carelessness to the mix (yes that includes weak passwords) and it goes one step further, to fraud.
About privacy though, what really do we care about it? That’s a strangely worded question – I mean, maybe people don’t mind others knowing what songs they like, that they went out last night, and have brown hair. Maybe it’ll pave the way for a more honest and open-minded world – or dual identities.
Anyway. We should not take the pervasive force of the internet for granted. I am grateful that I got to experience a pre-internet, pre-mobile life as a pre-adolescent – as there is no going back, and no way of future generations to know what it was like. And I am so glad to also be living in today’s convenient world!