For some time I’ve had this weird fear (I guess) of becoming irrelevant after death. One day I was at a church camp and we walked through a cemetery looking at the graves of the people who were in that cemetery. It was then that I realized that no matter what kind of contribution I made to the world, there would be one day that the contribution would be lost, either lost forever or made irrelevant by the complaints of middle and high school-aged students not excited about learning history. Ya, I know. Some deep and probably creepy stuff right here.
My mom has since told me that it doesn’t matter because I won’t be on this Earth anymore. I will be in a better place so does it matter? Well, to me, for some strange reason, it does.
Enter social media. I was reading an article today from Buzzfeed about one of the victims in the Charleston shooting. It showed different pictures posted on the man’s Instagram about the different causes he was involved in and things he cared about. I know people think social media is stupid and no one cares if you’re eating a sandwich or going to the bathroom. For me though, it matters. Archaeologists and anthropologists analyze troves upon troves of documents and fossils and artifacts and evidence that has been found from old civilizations. They can only guess at the woman who owned the old ceramic vase or the man who penned a love letter to his “one.” With social media, we’re literally writing history. I know one day the Internet will become obsolete but for now, if all of America was to be wiped off the Earth by a tsunami, I can almost guarantee there would be a tweet from moments before it happened. I can gurantee that some kid years from now can go back and read someone’s life story, my life story, from the 31,900 tweets I’ve been writing for years detailing my life. I’m not sure what that’s worth or really why I’m writing this, other than because it was something I was thinking about and wanted to see what other people thought.
Is it vain to want people to remember me? Or is it vain to believe that after I die someone is going to go back and look at the pictures from my awkward years on Facebook? Maybe, but I sure wish I could get to know my grandparents from the Bain side in that way. I wish I knew what was happening at the orphanage in Galveston before the Storm of 1900 hit while all the kids were standing in a line holding hands.
What are your thoughts?