In the past year, a number of new online tools have emerged to help catalogue and track a user’s digital memoirs. From the launch of Facebook’s new timeline feature, to the growing popularity of pinning our hopes, memories and dreams to Pinterest, to the ability to collect and weave your favorite photos, Tweets and social streams into a tale on Storify, the possibilities to recount a sequence of events seem endless.
But these digital scrapbooks of one’s personal history likely do not reflect the real, or whole story. I see it more like users are revealing a scattered collection of moments online. If this isn’t the case, then many of my friends’ lives could be summarized on Facebook timeline as follows: you are born, you attend university and a few major events, you randomly “like” some cat videos, photos of friends’ vacations and children, to be continued…
As privacy concerns grow online, my compulsion to share personal experiences and memoirs on sites like Facebook and Google+ seems to be fading – especially when I know that these companies plan to share my personal data to advertisers.
Therefore, like true human memories, there are many holes in my digital story. And until my online privacy is better protected, my timeline will remain a mystery, rather than a biography. Let me know your thoughts about sharing your personal story online via social media.
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