Is there value in the newfound and everlasting virtual eternity of our lives online? If so, what is that value and how is it quantified, qualified, banked and spent?

Or are we forever condemned by the tangential emptiness of the numbing
recorded history of our lives online? Is there just too much data on us
to ever be contextually comprehensible or criminally indicting?

When you create a web page, write an email, compose a blog post or
leave a comment — is there an inherent vested value in that action or

Does that determined permanence of your words bore you, overwhelm you,
or inspire you?

How do you handle the new “never-endingness” of the web — and does
that hard reality factor into, or influence, the breadcrumbs of your life you are unwillingly forced to leave behind for eternal inspection?


  1. There is value for me – as we have discussed before my name is almost a “brand name”.
    I was made aware very early on that whatever I wrote on the web could and probably would come back to haunt me.
    I have made use of that fact. I always think before I post – I avoid flame wars and use the internet rather than let it use me.
    I know for a fact that I have obtained new customers through my blog – they have been encouraged that it is a real person they will be coming to stay with – who is rounded and balanced and who has a real life.
    Because of my web presence and contributions I have no advertising costs – I have never paid for advertising – I do not need to.
    So I value it, use it and eat off the banked proceeds.
    However I am rather uncomfortable at the lengths that the internet is going in some areas.
    There are some privacy issues that cause me concern – particularly given my area of work.
    This article from the Times was food for thought this weekend.

  2. I don’t do much online but when I do I’m careful what I say. I could be old school.

  3. Thanks for that great link, Nicola!
    You’re smart to be aware that what you say and do is being tracked. You can use that information to your advantage as you are and have been doing.
    Now — do you ever use your full real name online anywhere? Or were you careful from the outset to only use your Ms. Demmie persona?

  4. Anne —
    I think there’s a lot of truth in the “Old School” way of interacting with other people. There needs to be a respectful and cautious distance is what we do and how we interact with strangers.
    A lot of young kids today just spew everything out there online and in public without the fear or understanding that it can, and will, come back to haunt them one day.

  5. Kids think they’re invincible. Same with what they write. They think it all disappears or if they don’t look under the bed they won’t find a monster.

  6. people don’t care what other people write. only what they write. when you search you look for your name not other people

  7. There are times I HAVE to use my real name but I limit this as much as I can and avoid if at all possible.
    A quick google search reveals nothing on the first page until you add in my county of residence – then it reveals comments to the BBC, comments to the Daily Mail, a picture to Devon Butterflies, a glow worm sighting and a blog catalogue link. (Might have to do something about that last one.)
    When I do it is usually tied into a completely neutral email address.

  8. Karvain —
    It is the ego that saves the young. They cannot be harmed or killed and that is what renders them brave in the face and defeat and invincible in the arms of the inevitable!

  9. I think that’s true, arin. People generally do test searches on their lives and not those of others — unless they are doing some sort of covert intel or something. ūüėČ

  10. Nicola!
    I love it you can search your “real” name and still find pieces of yourself online! What a fascinating puzzle you discovered! It will be interesting to see if you can remove the pieces you do not want found now.

  11. I agree the verity of self is important, Dananjay, but then again, you understand that because you openly use your first and last name and hide from nothing!

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