Digital Pasts Erased — Should life be perfect?


This week Facebook announced the release of a new feature ‘Take a break’. It allows users to erase all memories of their past romantic relationships. Created to ‘help emotionally support users’ after seeing that thousands of people (each day) were changing their relationship status from ‘in a relationship’ to ‘single’. But it poses a question doesn’t it — should we really be erasing chapters in our lives so easily? Cleansing our digital profiles of moments and stories that make us who we are. It reminds me of coming back from holidays abroad with the girls in the 90s. Lots of drinking, snogging, smoking and general hedonistic behaviour documented forever by the humble disposable camera. We’d race to Boots for the 1 hour processing service and double up with laughter reviewing our antics. Of course, we’d censor the set before we proudly showed our parents what a lovely, relaxing time we’d had in Magaluf (!) but, what we didn’t do was chuck any of those memories away. I have stacks of old photo albums in a cupboard at home, the history books of my crazed youth. What an indulgence it is to look back at them every once in a while in utter disbelief at our hairstyles, the dodgy dark brown lipstick we ALL wore and the drunken antics we’d got up to in the holiday apartment (I’m blushing as I write this). If I’d erased them all at the click of a button I’d have nothing to look back and laugh at, nothing to remind me of those days of abandon. Is digital perfection really worth it?