|Posted on April 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM|
“If an individual does not have a presence on the internet- did they ever exist?”
We are familiar with the philosophical question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it - does it make a sound?” The inquiry stimulates one to ponder perception, reality, observation and existence.
Now take into consideration the following, “If an individual does not have a presence on the internet- did they ever exist?”
We have become ultra-dependent on the internet. We turn to it for all types of information, data and trivia. Our personal devices allow us immediate access to the latest news and trending topics across the globe, how to navigate from point A to point B, or the ability to Google a company or future employee.
We are immersed in our social media worlds constantly checking the status of “friends” or posting our own updates.
Experts tell us to be mindful about what we post- because it will live on the internet forever. But, what about the decades and centuries of people who were never a part of the internet age. Those who passed before the launch of LinkedIn (Dec 2002), Myspace (Aug 2003), Facebook (February 2004), Twitter (March 2006), or those who never had a website or a blog.
How does their legacy or history survive – did they ever exist?
Social media gives us the sense of importance, worth, and value. We rank our status on the number of followers and friends. Some say if you’re not on social media you are irrelevant.
Now take a moment to think beyond our familiar circles, consider the millions around the world who do not have computers, smart phones or the internet; are their lives any less relevant than our own?
Have you ever Googled someone you loved, admired, or a mentor and received the statement “No results matching…” or found over a thousand “matches” but nothing specifically on the person.
In the not too distant future the internet will completely replace traditional media, therefore unless an individual has (or had) a presence via a website, blog or social media site their existence may go unnoted, forgotten or even become extinct.
I was despondent to imagine that someone dear to me, someone who had made a significant mark in his community, an individual who was a respected leader, and community activist might become forgotten or extinct. I created a Fan page to honor his legacy, so that he too may live forever - on the internet.
Mary B. Vail, MBA is an award-winning author, publicist and philanthropist in Las Vegas, NV. In her role as a public relations representative, she has created a multitude of social media identities, blogs, on-line news stories and websites for individuals and businesses. Her father, Dr. Fred G. Leon, II was a mentor to youths and adults alike. He demonstrated the importance of community activism through his own actions and love. He passed on July 8, 1999.