Digital Dark Age: The Dead Weight of the Real World

The Digital Dark Age’ is the idea that because of outdated file formats/software/hardware or data decay, the huge amount of information being generated now may be lost forever to future generations. To a future historian, we mightn’t exist.

It’s important to think about those incidental moments in your life that make up a huge amount of your existence: conversations about what to have for dinner or what you thought of the film or what your child did at school that day. We never used to have insight into the mundane minutiae of other people’s lives until social media. Now we all share these “private” moments with strangers all the time.

Why? Does it give us any deeper understanding about ‘what’s it all for in the end?’

We are objectifying our lives. Collecting moments, filtering them and spinning everything in the right way in order to make a post. Only the interesting, funny, ridiculous, ironic, humblebraggy or emotionally moving bits of our day-to-day existence are shared publicly. The wording of tweets and posts are considered so that they have the most impact on our “friends”. We change things slightly to make them just a bit funnier, a bit more interesting, just the right amount of humbleness (but never leaving out the brag). Multiple selfies are taken, the best one then perhaps Face Tuned to make you look better, before sharing this “real” “candid” life moment with your “friends”. We are curating our lives for an audience, not for us. It isn’t real life though. It’s make-believe. You know that, right?

Of course, YOU know that.


This is a long way away from the Cyber Utopian idea where the ‘net would free us from the baggage our bodies carried with them, only our minds, ideas and thoughts would matter. It was always about an escape from ‘meatspace’, but never about denying its existence.

Once Facebook came along, all that changed. In 2019, it now matters far more online than off- whether I have XX chromosomes or not. It’s more difficult for me to post an opinion on Twitter than it is to walk down the street. This isn’t what I thought the future would be. And I hate Facebook for it. I’ve deleted my past posts on Facebook, my blog and Twitter. It feels good.

I’m pre-empting my Digital Dark Age non-self.

Goodbye, everyone! *pops out of existence*