Occasionally an author’s personal notes or memoirs are discovered or released by family members after they have passed on. Many times publishers pick up the scent of money and throw it into book form without a moment’s hesitation. Letters by John Steinbeck, Jane Austen and CS Lewis now come to mind. Perhaps also the compilation of Churchill quotes, or the random ponderings of Anthony Burgess and other literary geniuses. These authors are long gone, yet they leave behind a rich and sometimes controversial view of life, written in an old voice, filled with wisdom and depth and irony.
I find myself wondering what would happen now that the world has been swooped away on a social networking cloud. Today diaries are kept in the form of blogs. Views are expressed on Facebook and Twitter and updates are seen as entries. There is no real privacy and whatever has been sent, is there to stay.
Who will possibly remember who blogged what and when they blogged it? Will there be a dedicated group of people who make a living by sifting through the musings of a possible someone? If my light finally dwindles and my fateful demise becomes a sure thing, will all my blog postings and my old tweets be exhumed from the heaps of Internet garble and incorporated in my simulated eulogy? Will it be run or posted across all social media platforms at 7-hourly intervals to accommodate for all possible time zones?
I doubt that very much. What I have to say could never compare to the treasures left behind by the names mentioned above. They were writers in a time when the written word had such value and reading was a common pastime. I probably wouldn’t even get a high number of google searches for the nonsense I thought up.
Sadly, a criminal is far more likely to get maximum search engine optimization in death than a literary professor with two PHD’s. A serial rapist’s tweets or a suicide bombers rants on Facebook will probably be revered by some and categorized as insightful by others.