The scariest thing on the Internet is that they say it never forgets. We all start young on this platform and we all did or said some embarrassing stuff that we hope no one will find. In my first interactions with the web, I became friends with someone in the US and I thank her for teaching me how to write in English. But the other important thing she taught me was how to create a website.
She had a page on Angel fire and showed me how to make my own. This was a revolution. I was the only one among my friends who had a page on the web that could be accessed by anyone in the world. Naturally, I used this opportunity to write the things a naïve 11 years old would write on a website. It didn't matter stupid that it was, it was my space and no once could say anything about it.
Few years later, I was a little more grown up, still young and dumb, but I did see the website as an embarrassment. The only problem was, the email I used to register for the website was long abandoned. I couldn't reset my password. I had to watch this page live on the Internet and hope that the future generation would never see its existence.
My wish was granted.
Although Angelfire still exists today, the majority if not all pages made in its heydays are gone. Poof. Just like that. The thing I was embarrassed about is gone. No one will ever find it again. You can try. I dare you to try to find it >:|
Well it's not only embarrassing stuff that disappears from the Internet. Not long ago, the computer where I kept the backup of one of my first blogs just failed. Nothing was retrievable. The blog domain expired years ago. But like they say, the Internet never forgets.
People use archive.org's Wayback Machine to retrieve deleted content all the time. So I thought this would be the best place to get a back up of my blog. Only they don't have a full back up of my little blog.
You can access the homepage but all the links are broken. I was only able to retrieve one post.
What does this mean? It means the Internet forgets. A lot of things that we do on the Internet feels like they will be there forever, but they won't be. Times change. Websites that seems to be the future simply disappear. I had a lot of information in my hi5 account 5 years ago, when I accessed it today, they only had my profile info. Somehow the rest was deleted. People say the same about their Myspace account.
What will Facebook be years from now? Will you be able to retrieve your very first post? Will it turn into a Myspace? What about the rest of the web?
I find it frustrating already that many articles I link to on this blog ceased to exist. It's only been 2 years since I have this blog but I have to constantly remove links from expired domains.
I think it is a cocky thing to say things last forever on the web. The platform itself is still young. Any statement we make this year can be nullified the next.
One of the disc players on my computer came with a CD that claims to last for a whooping 10,000 years. Can we verify this? Of course we can't. The same can be said about the Internet. If I don't pay for my hosting on the next cycle, this website will simply die and chances are Wayback Machine will not have a complete back up of it.
It will not even be a memory. You will never know I existed...