Where their grandparents may have left behind a few grainy photos, a death certificate or a record from Ellis Island, retirees today have the ability to leave a cradle-to-grave record of their lives, The New York Times reports.
Two major forces are driving virtual immortality. The first and most obvious: inexpensive video cameras and editing programs, personal computers and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
These technologies dovetail with a larger cultural shift recognizing the importance of ordinary lives. The shift is helping to redefine the concept of history, as people suddenly have the tools and the desire to record the lives of almost everybody.
The ancient problem that bedeviled historians — a lack of information — has been overcome. Unfortunately, it has been vanquished with a vengeance. The problem is too much information.
In response, a growing number of businesses and organizations have arisen during the last two decades to help people preserve and shape their legacy.
This reminds me of the Robin Williams film The Final Cut in which Williams works for a company that “edits” a deceased person’s life history recording before giving ( selling? ) it to the person’s family.
Which begs the question “Who has the right to edit a person’s, or event’s history?”