Tim Kreider ponders the speed, depth and breadth that the Internet brings to bear on the act of transporting ourselves from a state of unknowing to knowing, while Roy Greenslade notes an observation that, contrary to many people’s beliefs, print is ephemeral, while digital is forever.
One of the most fascinating applications of the Internet’s foreverness is to relationships; every person you ever knew remains within reach. How does one close the chapters of one’s life in such a reality? Should we? Is it time to forget about forgetting?
But what is lost in a world perpetually connecting all our past to our present? It evokes what Kreider writes about: the power of mystery to armor and raise us, to protect us from being as all others are, to provide us the illusion of distinction that gives every kingdom its king.
Without that ritual of forgetting, we gain yet lose. By stretching the days that are done along a digital strand woven through the entirety of a life rather than sealing them to let slip away, we lose the tiny deaths that allows us to rise differently again. That person we were is no mystery held together by memories turned to stories. It is a collection of hard data, sortable if you like, ever-connected, a cage of clicks.