I have always liked writing in pencil more than pen, because mistakes can be easily erased and fixed.

How we interact with social media seems to lie on both ends of the spectrum – I’ve used backspace several times just to type this sentence, with seemingly little memory of whatever mistakes I’ve corrected, and even after I post it I will presumably be able to edit it to any extent at any time, yet now that I’m writing it it has been saved, nearly irretrievably, probably somewhere on a server farm in California.  What I write is both fleeting and permanent.

Now that we have so much space to remember, we seem to feel some sort of compulsion to do it, to add to some collective cloud computing idea.  On one hand, it seems to almost celebrate a sense of the mundane, where anything is important enough to be saved, yet it also seems to lose the individual in the masses.  This seems kind of like the same tension in how people talk about cities, and how you can be so surrounded by people and yet feel utterly alone.  Backspace gives us a sense of individual power yet flattens us into a common humanity.


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