The strangest thing about stashing these pictures in a private album on G+ was watching G+ try to do facial recognition on them. It brought an eerie sort of reality to the project. Here are people who lived at least 90-100 years ago, people who could not have imagined that now, in 2012, someone they quite probably aren’t even related to would be posting their pictures on an incomprehensible place called the internet. They could not have known that these pictures, of their families, their town, would be the subject of mystery and conjecture, that people all over the world would pour over them, hoping to learn even the most inconsequential detail about their lives. Thinking like that, it made me feel just a little bit intrusive and a little bit irreverent. I had thought (and still think) that sharing this bit of history would be better than hording it, but I do wonder if perhaps I am also encroaching on their privacy. So many parents choose not to post pictures of their children around the internet - what would the parents of these children think?
It also makes me wonder if some piece of me will linger after I am gone. Maybe time will whittle away my identity, till one day, 100 years from now, some equally curious person will brush off the dust and wonder at how strange my clothes were and how quaintly my hair was styled. Maybe it will be this journal that will survive, lurking in the dusty shadows of the internet, eclipsed by newer technology (or perhaps by some sort of technological apocalypse). We think we’re so invincible, in our age of excessive documentation, but maybe they did too.
(Can we all agree that little boy has some swag? Yes? Okay good.)
To hear more about these pictures and others like it, check out the original post.