The Documented Life

It’s probably for the best that I’m not a paranoid person.  Granted, the paranoid person wouldn’t  be nearly so transparent.  It amazes me the amount of information that we share about ourselves on a daily basis.   I’m sure that our activities on “free” sites is well paid for in the information that they provide to larger companies and advertisers.  Someone said “You’re not the customer on sites like Facebook, you’re the commodity”.  Twenty year old me would probably begin a scathing tirade about personal privacy and such, but 40 year old just doesn’t care.

I use social media sites like Facebook.  If I just want to comment on something, I’ll say it there.  If I have something I really want to say, I’ll write a post here, or one of the other blogs that I deal with on a very infrequent basis.  But then, I’ll link it on Facebook.  I don’t tweet.  Not cause I find it silly or anything else, I just never think about it.  I don’t “follow” twitter, anymore.  I just don’t have time.  I did for a while, and I tried to contribute, but honestly, I like words a bit too much to limit myself to short bursts of text.

I use sites like BoardGameGeek and GoodReads to catalog my collection, and find out things about other games or books that I might want to get involved with.  I use Facebook and Meetup to organize groups for gaming.

I have an Amazon Wishlist, I have a Netflix account, my facebook profile shows hundreds of things that I’ve “liked”.  It’s not hard to figure out what interests me.  Fine.

I track exercise with Endomondo, I have Moves on my phone, that keeps track of how much I walk during a day.  I have MyFitnessPal to keep track of what I eat, and keep me honest about my diet.

I blog here about my life and thoughts.  I used to write on LiveJournal.   I blog (ugh, when did I start using it as a verb?) on fortsackville.com about board games.

For a while, I was using OptimizeMe, an app for my phone that let me track all of my daily activities, but after a month of logging, I didn’t feel like it was benefiting me in anyway, so I stopped using it.

In the past, when people died, it was frequently difficult to find out much about them, beyond census information, family photos, and spoken stories from loved ones.  With the digital age as it is, I feel like it will be easier to paint a picture of our ancestors, if we can see the way they interacted with the world.

Now, my question to you is:  Do you want your future generations to remember you by the things you said on facebook?  When we air our dirty laundry for the world to see, it’s frequently not something we can take back.  I’m nearing 40, and many of my friends from my own generation have kids leaving high school, or their kids have kids of their own.  It pains me, when I see people trash their (currently former) significant other, or defend themselves by slinging more of their own dirty laundry around.  If you want to talk about each other that way, I guess I can understand.  But just remember, someday, your kids will be able to look back through your profile on Facebook.

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