Nicholas Carr writes:
The unexamined life, said Socrates, is not worth living. Today, we seem to be operating under a new and very different dictum: the unrecorded life is not worth living. Thanks to digital technologies, we now have the tools to chronicle our daily actions and thoughts in the minutest detail – and to share the record with the world.
The desire to bear witness to one’s personal experience isn’t anything new, of course. Long before words and pictures turned into strings of ones and zeroes, people set down accounts of events in their lives. They painted on cave walls, wrote in diaries, took snapshots and collected keepsakes and souvenirs. What’s changed is the scale of the effort. Whereas in the past we tended to record only important events, today we can, and do, record pretty much everything. Nothing we do or think, it seems, is too insignificant to be preserved or broadcast.