The Internet and its permanent Tattoo

Andy Warhool once said that “in the future, everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes”. In an interesting short video, Juan Enriquez, a Harvard fellow and founding director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School, makes the opposite hypothesis. What if we only actually have fifteen minutes of anonymous life?

We all know it. We all have been told. Everything, absolutely everything that we put on the internet is permanent. Maybe the idea is so irrealistic or abstract for us, that we actually do not fully believe in it. Yet, we should maybe start believing in it. As Juan Enriquez explains, we are drawing ourselves electronic tattoos. From facebook, to twitter, instagram and linkedIn, to the simple use of our own cell phones, credit cards or the fact that we use GPS: we are leaving permanent drawings of our life stories.

His conclusions? First, electronic tattoos will undoubtly at a certain point for a certain reason be bad for our reputation. Are they really worth it? Second, electronic tattoos will always be temptative for us to try to know more about people’s past, but how much do we really need to know? Third, why do we actually have all these things? Answering this question with self honesty should be interesting. How self-centered are we becoming?

What seems to be actually happening is that, because of electronic tattoos we are now threatened by the immortality of our acts.


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