Outlasting a lifetime

It always comes to my mind how the things I do impact my “forever”. Are these things going to last? Or am I wasting time and effort on things that will last but a moment?

These thoughts came back to my toxic mind when I stumbled upon an article in the Then and Now section of the September 2010 issue of Discovery Channel Magazine. The article, “On the Write Path”, told of how storing language took different forms throughout history:

STONE AGE cave painting (30, 000 BCE)

People during the Stone Age were believed to have used 26 symbols to store language through paintings.

Hieroglyph on papyrus (3000 BCE)

Egyptians had records of their characters and symbols called hieroglyphs on paper of old times called papyrus.

Chinese inscriptions on bones (1200 BCE)

Chinese writing is one of the oldest systems in the world that developed first. Their rituals were discovered inscripted on bones.

Buddhist manuscript on birch bark (130)

Buddhist manuscripts written on birch bark represent the oldest writing in the South Asian region that has surpassed the test of time.

text messaging (1992)

The first text message was sent in December 1992. Since then, people use mobile phones to communicate with each other, pushing the limits of communication due to distance a bit farther.

social networking sites (1997)

In 1997, the first recognizable social networking site was launched; it was SixDegrees.com. Now, almost everyone has an account in at least one of these SNS’s to communicate and stay connected with people even from across the globe.

And it gets more and more exciting.

According to the article mentioned above, the process of “storing message language so others can understand it across time is ancient technology. We call it ‘writing’.” From this statement we can say storing language ~ writing. Now, we often store language or write via the Internet. And what a better time for us to store language!

We can write all that we want and upload it in the Web, and be sure that it will last forever (unless you delete it, of course). And others can undoubtedly have access to it. People anywhere in the globe with Internet can get to see what you’ve written depending on how much of it you want to be read by others. The Internet can also facilitate understanding, as more and more people write using various NSM tools in ways that are personal and relevant. And what’s great, the Internet also gets to meet the challenges of time. What you post online can be read right after you post it, days after, or even years after (and the medium does not deteriorate). You can even write yourself a letter which will be delivered to you in the future, using sites like FutureMe.org. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

People tend to forget, and sometimes we forget even the things that matter to us. But if the things we write about are worth remembering, then they’re worth storing for a lifetime. If what you write is meant to impact a thousand audiences across time, it’s worth storing for lifetime reference.

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7 thoughts on “Outlasting a lifetime

  1. I enjoyed this post!I also am wary of how my actions can affect the future and how people will remember me after I die.
    I’ve read somewhere( Unfortunately I can’t remember where) that some social networking sites delete an account if it is not updated for six months and in one incident where the owner of a social networking account died, her family was able to obtain the password of the account and was able to save the photos in that account. I think, there should be an option in facebook where a family member or close friend can email the moderators in order to preserve the account of the dead person. But this could be tricky and perhaps the status update feature should be disabled so as not to cause confusion and mischief.

  2. sooner or later, some people will find or get to your blog and how nice it would be for people to jump out of your page getting inspired or with a good idea, or a question for which they will look for answers.

    i’m hoping you can continue to blog and share worthwhile thoughts with the world. who knows, you might be an inspiration to some. 🙂

    1. I wonder how people in the far far future will react to our blog posts, (that is, if ever they are still recoverable).

      Right now, yes, digital media reaches people far and wide, but I am contemplating if because of the speed, obsolescence factor, and the volume of information, I don’t know if these are, like books and manuscripts, “archived” for future knowledge use.

      Sorry for code switching- pero diba, isipin mo kung ilan ang bloggers sa mundo, ilan ang nagususlat sa internet, and yes these are all could be sources of information, pero sa sobrang dami, hindi na siya naka”archive” n g maayos unlike libraries wherein you can go back anytime, and some “librarian fixes it back on the shelf.” Not true in the internet.

      Maybe, in the future, we could have an internet counterpart of a librarian, and in the farther future, cyber archeologists perhaps? :))

    2. thanks, sir! just a positive comment from you is what i’ve been waiting for. thanks. 🙂 yep, i’ll really see to it that all the learning i’ll get won’t just end in me, but will find its way to other people’s minds and hearts, thanks to NSM. haha. and of course, the valuable FtF. 😉

  3. Nice discussion.

    Immortality is something we achieve in the Internet. But let us be wary of the this “permanence” that comes with using the net.

    Stopping it is not simply a matter of “deleting” your words. When people “talk” in the net. That “talk” will be readily available to anybody who wants to read it anytime of the day to forever (unless the world ends or the use of the Internet is abolished)

    The sad fact is you can’t do much about it because its other people’s post. 😦

  4. I cannot imagine myself as inspiring but I think if my digital footprint will be here on the web forever, it will be nice if someone from the far far future will be able to get to know me and discover how our generation lived our lives. We are still at the infancy stage of new social media and I hope that in the future, people will be able to make the most out of the new social media and what we see as the potentials of the social media will be a reality.

  5. hi keren!

    There are works worth storing and sharing with the future generation. If there were no copies of Galileo’s
    discoveries about the stars and the planets, people of today might not have been inspired to study the heavenly bodies. The greatest thing a literary work can do is to inspire people to do something. Even simple thoughts can touch lives. People should be encouraged to share and tell stories. We should not fear to let even our sad experiences be known. In our weaknesses, people might find strength. In our hurts, people might be healed. Stories like these should be made to last a lifetime. There might be someone in the future who will be needing our life stories.

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? :)

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