For a few months I've been bouncing the idea of a "social media biography" around in my head. Imagine knitting a perusable patchwork of human experience (à la Griffin and Sabine), using random blog posts, vapid PR headlines, Flickr images, appropriated advertising and tweets.
Dos Passos had a bit of it going on with his "camera eye" concept, and Douglas Coupland kind of did it with Microserfs and Jpod.
I got excited enough to get off the couch and run over to the computer, where I opened a TextEdit window and just stared at all that white for a long time.
It occurred to me then how ambitious this would be. Parsing out Twitter stream-of-thought? Burrowing through email -- most or all of which Google has encouraged us never to throw away? Excerpting from a panoply of personal and professional online websites -- not to mention all my compulsive handwritten scribble? (Big Moleskine user.)
Not to mention the IM logs! The Gchat files! The social network comments and the memes! Getting it right would take forever.
I feel like my Human Experience -- that thing we work so hard to distill -- is leaking onto every open surface in throwing distance. The idea of trying to make it all linear, making it narrative, seems totally unreasonable.
Well, about as unreasonable as tax time. Or directing a Fellini film.
I feel like I need a library index. "Perception of life as RSS feed," located at LU050208. "Philosophy on benign sustenance" at TW043008. "Issues with cereal," TW043008, cross-reference to XN043006.
I was spouting anti-cereal propaganda this same time two years ago! That's the kind of thing I want to highlight and underline. Because yes, it's lame, but isn't it also kind of amazing? We evolve, we change so much, but some part of us we don't even pay attention to remains fundamentally the same.