December 01, 2016

So many of our memories live online. Our vacation photos are on Instagram, our musings are on Twitter, and our long diatribes about politics are on Facebook. Governments, universities, and libraries also store much of their data and artifacts on servers. But what does this transition from analog to digital mean for how we remember our world? Abby Smith Rumsey is the author of When We Are No More: How Digital Memory Is Shaping our Future, and she’s got some ideas.

Three Takeaways

  • Given the rapidly-advancing pace of technology, being able to access our digital memories is increasingly going to be an issue. Think about floppy disks. Do you have any way of playing them now? In 10 or 20 years, we’ll encounter that same problem with the technologies we love today.
  • It’s important to remember that we don’t actually OWN the information we put on Facebook or Twitter. Rumsey says that, by uploading our information to these companies, we cede some of our options and responsibility with that information.
  • Want to make sure that your blog or website is preserved online? Try the Internet Archive.

More Reading:

NPR, Abby Smith Rumsey, innovation hub, Kara Miller, WGBH, memory, pri

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