We ARE The History!

Remember when you were a kid? You read all these exciting history stories and started wondering what it is like to have your name written in the history book. “I must be famous or do some big things” you told yourself. Not anymore! To be part of the history, all you need to do is to tweet.  It can be about anything: being late for work, getting a new TV, real-time road condition updates, or comments on political issues. The Library of Congress announced that they started a plan to archive all the public tweets, which counts in hundreds of millions a day. Your comments on a latest movie could live in the cyber world forever next door to Mr. Obama’s greeting to the American people.  Everyone is part of the history now, even though for most of us, our share is quite small.

In a democratic society, where the leaders are fairly elected by the people, what the ordinary people think is more important than some celebrities. Part of the reason why the history book is full of big names is that the historians don’t have the means to dig in collectively every little thing that ordinary people said, did in the past. Now they do. If I dare to let me imagination fly, I can see future historians figuring out the source of certain social problems based on all the tweets. They might conclude that the beginning of archiving the tweets is a shining start of new era. 

Don’t be too optimistic though. Privacy will always be a problem. Some people would welcome a way to opt out the chance of being part of the history.  Some others don’t even bother to tweet. Without further popularization, tweeter will be limited on its ability to draw the big picture.  Let’s just hope everybody like to tweet.


what if historical events had facebook statuses


A Powerful Collection of Any and Everything…No Matter What!

The gathering of historical data is far easier now with the technology that we have.  Unless the digital era crashes or is destroyed in a way that computer technology can no longer exist.  Historians can obtain information without leaving their seats, in a matter of seconds.  No dusty books, that hopefully is in a readable condition.  No documents that can’t be preserved.   Information is sent quickly, gathered fast.  Making it easier to do research.

Reading the article on the archiving of every public tweet actually gave me chills.  We use the Internet for so many different things, that to know that the pictures posted on facebook are no longer yours or that google saves all your searches, and that a tweet stating that ” I’d sleep with my dentist, because he is so hot”, or “I can’t wait till I can eat a bunch of small animals for Thanksgiving”, is locked away somewhere is uncomfortable.  Some time capsule that is!  To imagine that, that’s going to be something that historians will use to study the era that I live in doesn’t sit well with me.  I really don’t want to be remembered that way.

Honestly, I have some major privacy concerns.  It’s one thing to collect data so that you can return to a certain time period, and discuss these historical evidences with the future generations, to better our world.  It’s another not to give people the choice to opt out or better yet, to ask if you can use their belongings.  Honestly, if I knew that Facebook was going to have the rights to my pictures, I would not have joined or posted any up.  Also, I don’t believe most of the entries from twitter should be saved, a lot of these things are just a waste of digital space.

" I know everything!

Where else the information of the wiki-leaks are so controversial, that the government is upset that these “confidential” documents were leaked. What makes them so special, or exempted from disclosure?  If “We the people” can’t keep small secrets or even pictures for ourselves, what makes it okay for “Our government” to keep large ones from us?  It has to be a balance.  I feel that the leaks were wrong, because they may have been obtained illegally, but it shows that all things are being collected in this large pool, whether anyone likes it or not.  That the internet is going to continue to provide the best and worst collection of information… no matter what!

We live in a world where the internet allows no doors to be closed because of it’s vast collection of human knowledge.  It would be nice to know that there is some privacy left.  That there are still some things that are not obtainable through the strokes of a few keys. Yet, I think those days are numbered."The Vast Collector"