Sunday, July 14, 2013

I hope Tumblr never dies.

I hope Tumblr never dies. I hope the servers stay active for generations to come, long after we are gone and forgotten. I hope the archives remain like a digital archaeological site and people come back to it to sift through the millions of pieces of information to see a glimpse of our generation growing up… Mingled between the homoerotic fanfiction and cat gifs are real life stories of millions of people out there blogging about heart ache, success, moving out, graduating, coming out, sending messages to strangers, creating things. I really want future generations to be able to look back on us. Not history, but us, as people, and from the extensive daily records of our lives come to know us better than the characters they love in books. We’re not just a faded daguerreotype to be pondered over by a curious collector. We are entire books without paper pages. Give it enough time and you will record more to your life than War and Peace.

Could you imagine someone out there falling in love with the memory of someone who died a hundred years ago because of their blog? That seems silly because it’s never happened before but think about it. The static words on a screen, the virtual memorial to your youth, being read by some lost teenager going through the same old problems of growing up and facing life just in a different time… We have these shared basic themes to experience: how to fit in, dealing with the transition to adulthood, being judged for our appearance and coming to terms with the fact that it doesn’t matter. These aren’t limited to our generation even if we don’t really think about our parents struggling with looking in a mirror at age 15…

They could go from the start and watch you grow, watch the progression of your life and get so attached to you and then… your blog ends. The last post has been made. They know you probably lived on past that, that you just moved onto some other website that they’ll never find and you might have spent decades being happy but at the same time… that’s it. That’s the end of the story you have lived and shared and it sinks in and it’ll hurt more than any fictional character because it’s real. You’re dead… you died years ago and it’s too late to send a reassuring message to tell you it’s OK, you’ll get past your problems eventually… They know, because they read on after 2013 and saw that one day you’re happy again, that the mirror doesn’t hurt to be near, that you find love, that you stopped needing those pills to get up in the morning… And after all that all that’s left is dust and words.

But you live on in the faint flickering light of a computer screen displaying the long neglected archives of the autobiography you wrote with words and images many many decades ago… a new way to be remembered.

I'd like to be remembered.

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