That tweet or comment you wrote when you were angry? They’ll see it. That picture you shared but then two weeks later thought might be inappropriate? They’ll see that too.
Whether you want them to or not, your grandkids will know everything about you because you've yet to fully comprehend the permanency of actions in a virtual world. Old forum posts, Facebook statuses, and Instagram selfies – all of it – will be accessible.
What's even more enthralling is that consumer-enabled facial recognition software will go mainstream within the next decade.
Today, you can only search by text – keywords, names, social media handles, etc. – and, the content you might not necessarily want people to see may not be directly linked to your name or handle.
But with the introduction of search by facial features, it’s a different ball game. That means every picture of you - every video of you - will be searchable, by anyone, in a matter of seconds.
Pre-internet, you had greater power over your narrative. You often controlled what people knew about you and you decided which people knew what. And you still do… but over the years you’ve grown complacent.
You’ve given away too much; the sheer amount of data strangers can gather on you without your consent is stunning – particularly data you thought was only temporarily public or inaccessible.
Any content of yours to have ever touched the surface of the internet is almost always stored and oftentimes – even if deleted or removed – is forever there to stay.
Our grandparents had even greater power: their earlier times saw no means of visual proof. Before pictures and videos, only history books and word of mouth, which are both alterable, dictated their narrative.
The result is this: your narrative – your legacy – will be out of your control. Your image to the world, to your community, and to your grandkids will be out of your control.
Unless… unless you’re cautious. And that means being intentional with every piece of content – every comment, every picture, every video – to reflect your true values and the message you want to leave for the generations to come.
Whether you realize it or not, you are writing your autobiography on the internet, every. single. day.
With every tweet, you are literally writing history. Before you share a post with the world, take a minute and ask yourself: If my granddaughter sees this, what would she think?
Privacy as we know it, if it hasn’t already, will cease to exist. Live your life as if you have a camera following you around constantly.
What adopting this mentally will do for you is it will force you to live according to your true values, and you only need to be calculated and cautious if there is a disconnect between how you are behaving now and how you would ideally like to behave.
If that is the case, evaluate what your true values are and why you may not be living your everyday life accordingly, because the show is always on. If you were constantly being recorded, how would you walk? How would you speak? How would you act and react?
That is how you should live every day of your life, for the rest of your life. Good luck.