For the Internet and Memoir, What’s Left?
April 24, 2010
Yesterday, I read an article in the New York Times by Brad Stone called “For Web’s New Wave, Sharing Details Is the Point.”
The article talks about the recent rise in Web sites that allow people to share every aspect of their lives, including every purchase they make on their credit card, where exactly they are at all times and how long they spend doing different exercises at the gym.
“This new world owes its origin to the rampant sharing of photos, résumés and personal news bites on services like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, which have acclimated people to broadcasting even the most mundane aspects of their lives.
To Silicon Valley’s deep thinkers, this is all part of one big trend: People are becoming more relaxed about privacy, having come to recognize that publicizing little pieces of information about themselves can result in serendipitous conversations — and little jolts of ego gratification.”
The whole time I was reading the article, I kept thinking of memoir. How can the rise of the Internet–clearly outlined by Stone to have increased people’s willingness to share personal details about themselves–not have been partially the reason for the rise of the personal memoir in the past two decades? Without the Internet, modern forms of memoir, such as recovery blogs, wouldn’t even exist.
But after reading the article and hearing about all the small details people are already sharing with anyone who will listen (or read them), I was left wondering, what’s next? For both the Internet and memoir, when are people going to get sick of reading about the average person?