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16 April 2009 @ 12:41 am
ephemera  
i have a question for everyone on my flist. i know that maybe two of you will bother to answer it.

is the age of the internet robbing us of our ephemera?

i love the tangible remnants of the past. this sounds very profound but really its not. few things are more cathartic than going through the old stack of notebooks in your closet and finding all the notes you wrote to friends in high school. its more than that though. somehow even finding one of these little glimpses into the life of someone you don't know can be rewarding. finding an old picture or shopping list on the street and trying to reconstruct its context can be a great deal of fun. i think that some of the fun we find in analyzing someone else forgotten notes or pictures is that we are given the opportunity to create a better life for them than what we, and quite possibly they, really have. we find a photo of a smiling couple and imagine them living happily with their 2.5 kids. really, they divorced shortly after the picture was taken and that is why it was thrown out into the streets to be found at a later date, but none of that matters because to us their lives were wonderful based solely on the one moment in time presented to us.

in the age of the internet communication and even pictures have gone nearly completely digital. on the one hand it is easier to access these little slices of the lives of other. youtube is a textbook example, you peer into someone else's life based on a 10 minute or less video clip and suddenly you draw conclusions. 'this person must be fairly happy....if she has the time, and want, to make a dancing around lip synching video.' you feel kinda like you know people on youtube. it works for lj too, only at least its a bit more in depth, realistic. but either way, in the end, you are only seeing what the person wants to put out there. you don't really get to know someone on youtube, myspace, facebook etc. unless you're putting in a few hours in other forms of communication as well.

anyway, all i'm saying is i miss letters,pictures, and notes you can hold in your hand. cause while it makes me happy to be able to go on flickr and see everyone's pics from last night's shows, it makes me sad that i won't find one of them laying on the ground three years down the road.
 
 
feelings: pensivepensive
 
 
 
Amanda Maeprankster43 on April 16th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC)
I hear ya. I've thought the same thing. I try and keep up the notebooks, scraps of paper, and snail mail letters, but it's hard to fully keep them up. And pictures - I haven't had prints made up in years. We totally are losing that tangible memorabilia, but... only so much we can do to to merely slow the process.
lightlikewaterlightlikewater on April 17th, 2009 12:04 am (UTC)
Oh you! I was going to try to get research done tonight, but then you got me thinking about all of these THINGS!

For some reason I see the internet as actually increasing the ephemera in my life 10-fold. Here's why:

Before the internet what did we have? We had FOUND magazine in actual magazine form (and we had maybe a few dozen other similar publications, all of which you had to subscribe to and pay money for...) But now look at what we have! We have foundmagazine.com (for starters) but we also have blog projects (the most obvious being postsecret, but there are a zillion others) and we have stuff like where'sgeorge? and book-swaps and improv everywhere and all of these other little things that bring the zany, wacked, random world into brief moments of focus. And anyone can access these moments! From any computer anywhere!

Okay, sure, most of the stuff on the internet is just made up of pixels. But somehow they still seem living to me. Like they bring beauty to the masses.

....Gosh, did that make any sense at all?