Monday, February 27, 2012

Virtuality Yours

I recycle some stuff. I reuse paper. I even occasionally walk to the corner instead of firing up the local fleet of SUV's. I do what I can to reduce my emissions, carbon and otherwise. But what about my other footprints? (feetprints?) I have been enlarging my electronic footprint over the years (you know what they say about people with large electronic please, tell me, because I don't know what they say, but I'm counting on you, because you know what they say) and I don't know if we should be stamping ourselves all over the internet.

I have, at last count, at least 10 different email addresses and at least 7 get use every week, if not more often. I have accounts and memberships in well over 100 websites and services, many (most?) of which no longer exist. I have a notepad document on my computer called "things I do" just to keep track of all the different versions of me which are sprinkled around the web. I go by many names (or versions of names) and have crafted a variety of discrete identities. On some services I have more than one account and there are others that I created just to stop anyone else from taking a name. And while I have an identity in the present, I still have past identities in waybackmachines and earlier versions of the web. My footprint, one might think, is sizable.

But the internet is a fickle mistress. With millions of pages being added every moment, myriad services and products being introduced daily and an uncountable number of possible venues for my brilliance cropping up, my footprint actually keeps getting smaller. We cannot do enough to maintain any real presence on the web. When one stares into infinity, one sees that unless one is president of the galaxy, all of this doesn't amount to much.

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