Facebook as Diary – What will your Legacy Be?


Your Legacy

Once upon a time, people wrote in diaries. If you wanted to learn what your grandmother was thinking, you could read her diary and learn how she met your grandfather. If the diary was kept, if it was legible, if it made it from point A into your hands!  Now, fast forward to today – a time when many of us are keeping our “diaries” up to date on a daily (if not hourly) basis on Facebook and other internet sites.  If we want to – the keys to our accounts could be passed along to our offspring or friends and our online identities (diaries) could be kept up for a long time, possibly forever!  Anyone who wants to can pretty easily turn their online musings into a website that should last a long long time.

I was pondering this concept on a trip to the Oregon coast this past weekend. What might it be like for future generations to be able to go back in time and review what their parents and grandparents were doing – that intimate look could be so useful to a biographer, sibling, or anyone, really.

That led me to rethink a little what we post on-line. I keep finding value in sharing what I’m doing on Facebook and beyond.  I think I’m now conceiving it as a way to inform people of my various projects – to get assistance, but also for a reason I had never thought of before.  Have you ever been somewhere and someone approached you – a Facebook-only friend? And, it turns out that they know something about you though you might not know much about them.  Or, vice versa.  I have this experience frequently. This weekend at the beach, I stumbled on a group of women who were sitting around a lovely campfire on the beach. It turned out that I knew 3 of the women, and was FB friends with a few more. That instant recognition and also their general knowledge of what I’m up to in the world led to a level of welcome and appreciation that = reputation. My reputation at that moment was not “stranger” it was – “someone we know who does good things in the world”. That, in turn, led to a level of welcome/hospitality that was very helpful at that moment and pleasant.

So, the reasons to share with the world what you’re thinking seem to continue to grow. People often ask me what/why to post on social networks – here are a couple of answers to that question. Somewhat we’re all flying on blind faith that this is useful, and if I come up with more reasons why this is good practice (besides some other obvious ones – connecting you with people you want to know – finding resources that you seek – finding help with projects, etc) I will share them here.  Can you think of any reasons that are interesting why a person might want to post on social networks?


This is a post I wrote on BlueOregon yesterday. The comments are interesting and worth reading.

“I’ve been walking around my neighborhood lately, and have noticed lots of spray-painted areas where sidewalks are cracked and are to be repaired. My thoughts when I see this is: are we really spending all of this money to replace something that’s just going to break (either through tree roots pushing up sidewalks, or regular wear and tear) again in the not too distant future? If we were thinking 50-100-200 years into the future – we might consider different solutions – perhaps leaning towards removing asphalt rather than replacing it. And all of the money going into turning corners into easier-to-use corners (ADA accessible), that really makes me wonder – isn’t there a cheaper way to turn what we have into something that can be biked/skate-boarded or roller-skated on and off of – like a small ramp instead of completely re-doing, and re-pouring the sidewalks seems like a good start to me. Anyway, that got me to thinking about how we might be doing things differently if we were planning for a Portland 100 or 1,000 years from now.

We all know cheap oil is going away – so that probably also means the cheap fixing of our streets is also going away. So, I’m mostly wondering out loud here, but I guess I’m posing the question and I’m curious what people think about the concept of long-range planning.

For instance: we all know that putting on chains and studded snow tires wrecks our roads. So, why didn’t the message come out loud and clear over the past 2 weeks: Please don’t drive unless it is absolutely necessary. Why wasn’t that transmitted loud and clear by every government agency with a loudspeaker/blog/radio transmitter/e-mail/TV, etc.? Instead, we heard that we should support the economy through shopping, and get to work, if possible. During the storm I wondered to myself, do we have the ability to stop if we need to? I’ll rephrase it – when it makes sense for our society to come to a stop – for our own good, for our own economic good – are we capable of doing so? My sense is that the damage done to our roads by people driving with chains and studded tires far outweighed the profits made by area retailers. And I know, local retailers are hurting, no doubt about that. I’m not trying to be insensitive here, but am trying to make a few points about how looking down the road a few years, we might do things differently.

We seem to be on a very “live for today” diet in this country. If we were looking further down the road how might we do things differently? Portland Mayor, Sam Adams wants to plant 80,000 trees in a year. If we were envisioning a future where we had to grow more of our food (I do), might we want to plant 80,000 fruit and nut trees a year, starting now? How about policies that make it really simple to grow food in your yard and sell or share that with your neighbors – how about a City Urban Ag department – helping Portland transition into a city that grows more of its own food?

What kinds of changes would you suggest as you consider Portland 100, 200 or 1,000 years from now? And, fill in your City/State here: Bend 3000? Oregon 3000?

We can do better.


The Fabulous Yes Men, at it again – The War is Over!


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