I have been spending my summers at the beach pictured above since I was 6. Located in between Tarquinia and Montalto, precisely here, “my beach” is the kind of place you know it’s not that amazing or impressive, but all your friends are there. All your laughs and bad jokes and summer adventures. Today, the beach is still my favorite place to think. The vastness and the equality of the sea help me put things in a better, more reasonable perspective.
Often, I think about the memories we have, and how as humans and technology connoisseurs we can preserve those memories from being obliterated like sand marks by the sea. When I was a kid, I didn’t have an iPhone readily available to take photos and videos, to save them for those times when I want to look back with the smile of an old friend to the me of 10 years ago. Look how stupid you looked in that t-shirt, you idiot. Remember when you fall of a bike to make your friends laugh? My memories of the beach invoke nostalgic sentiments – but it’s fine, for they are real memories. I just wish I was able to capture those moments and freeze them visually in time, rather than just in my recollection of events.
It’s about the Instagrams, Facebooks, Day Ones, Evernotes and Twitters of this world. Count the apps on your Home screen now. How many of them are helping you create memories?
I look at today’s six year-olds, and I rejoice for them, because they and their parents have such incredible technologies available and getting better, faster, and more powerful every day. How I wish I would have been able to frame my memories digitally. Similarly, I wish my old Nokia phone would let me import those few photos and videos easily today.
That’s why we, today, need to invest on open standards for data conservation, hardware interoperability, and cross-platform cloud storage. In my recent article for Read & Trust, I explained how, going forward, technology makers and trend-setters will have to figure out ways to preserve and standardize how information is archived online. On the same level, we need to make sure we are creating our memories on devices, apps, and services we know we’ll be able to operate a decade from now. I don’t want to end up with another dead Nokia phone in my drawer.
When I think about the role of today’s technology in our lives, I believe the biggest and, ultimately, most human aspect of our devices and apps is that they empower us to create memories. They are helping us immortalize moments that would otherwise be slowly eroded by the vastness of our minds and time. They are not making our present necessarily better, but in a way, they are giving us better memories. Richer ones.