Life on Earth was intended to be fleeting.
Our journeys from birth to death, and the transitions through many stages and ages, were to be experienced then discarded and forgotten. We are eternal beings. Our mission here on Earth was to experience the finite nature of humanity.
But the birth of the internet changed all of that.
No longer are the tiny minutiae of our daily lives simply experienced and discarded, by only ourselves and those who are physically present. Now they are recorded, shared, stored and kept (possibly in a country-sized bunker somewhere) for all of time.
The photo of you at seven years old with paint on your face will live in a cloud forever. The ex you dumped ten years ago can still follow your life as if they were still in it. The drunken tweet you posted can cost you the job you really want, even fifteen years after the posting.
Human beings hunger for immortality. To live forever is the ultimate goal. But we’ve forgotten that we do live forever.
Just not in this particular body the whole time.
But the actions, thoughts, meals and nights out that we have experienced in this body may well live forever.
Is digital immortality really what we want? To be known forever for the pictures of things we ate, books we read or songs we like? Is it not enough to just share the moment with the people right in front of us, or even just with ourselves?
Would it not be better to be known for an act of kindness, a job well done or a long, healing hug? Or for writing a book that has moved people? Helped them?
Part of my need to write books is to be remembered. To leave a legacy of some kind when my soul leaves this body and moves onto the next adventure. The idea that a photo of my gluten-free vegan meal might be remembered more than my novels hurts me. So you can expect less banality and more creativity from me from this point onward. Because I came here to write.
And that is what I intend to do.