The View from Up Ahead
We are living in interesting times. For the first time in human history, the lives of millions of people will be documented and preserved for future generations. This wasn’t exactly the plan, and it’s certainly not an organized effort. It’s more of an unintended–or maybe just unforeseen–consequence of the Internet revolution. As it began, we reveled in the near-instant communications and the accessibility of information. Then we realized the ability to actually conduct business, and to be entertained. Then came social media.
We began putting more and more of ourselves online. Sometimes with full intention, sometimes not. The result is that we have become, for lack of a better term, self-documenting historians. We may not think of ourselves this way, but history may look back
and see us as pioneers of the age of digital self-expression, writing our selves and our lives into the digital archive.
What will your great-great-great grandchildren find when the Google you? What picture will the bits and bytes you leave behind paint about your life and about those around you? What kind of a landscape are we painting collectively, as a society, as a planet, with all the digital information we are creating?
As an artist and a writer, I feel blessed to be alive at a time like this. A time when the ability to share words and images with the rest of the world is so easy. Of course this is not without its challenges. Everyone has something to say, and there is so much written on the web that it can be a challenge to sort through all the noise in order to find something worth listening to. Everyone has a camera, too. There are billions and billions of images online. Why would anyone look at mine? How does anyone even find them in this vast ocean?
Don’t get me wrong–I am not complaining. Merely observing. I love having the opportunity to try to differentiate my words and imagery from the hum of the digital world. To create imagery that people will get lost in and come back to, again and again. To create words that will entertain, educate, and inspire. To give people the opportunity to slow down, take a breath, and appreciate the beauty of the world–and themselves–at this precise moment in time.
I am so thankful to be living in this place and time, when a person can so easily reach out and share themselves with the rest of the world.
Think about the possibilities. What do you choose to share of yourself with the world? What record will you leave for future generations?
Keywords: Appreciation, Contemplation, Philosophy, Photography, artist, imagery, internet, perception, social media, writing
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