Over the last few weeks I have been in two situations that potentially could have been fatal. My whole trip to Pakistan was potentially lethal. And, I was caught in the middle of the Christchurch earthquake last weekend. But a colleague has laughed at how I have documented everything on Facebook saying "so funny - reaching for facebook straight after an earthquake....". So this has got me thinking about why I have documented so much about my life on the Internet in the last few weeks.
Keeping people informed
One of the main reasons for documenting what has been happening to me has been to keep my family and friends informed of what I am up to. But it is more than that...it has been about contributing to the body of knowledge about events...adding my very small perspective to the greater picture. Maybe in a hundred years a PhD student will take a look at these events to build a picture of what happened and piece together all the Facebook posts to get a glimpse into this moment of our history. And I like to think I have contributed in a very small way to this picture.
Connecting with people
The second reason for using Facebook to tell people what is happening to me is it gives me a chance to find out what is going on...and feel connected to others who are going through the same thing. When we were stuck in Christchurch airport last weekend, for a few hours we had no idea what was going on outside. So it was very reassuring to hear from people...and to know they were OK...and to have their reassurance being sent back to us. It helped me feel that we were not alone.
Documenting my life for my family
My last reason is a tad morbid. In a way I see my Facebook posts...Twitter tweets...blog posts as my living will...my last testament. I leave my family memories...thoughts...insights that they may otherwise not have. In a way, it is me saying "goodbye".
What do you think of what I have said here? Am I being too morbid? Is it too upsetting for the family to see your latest words on Facebook before you die?