Time Capsules in a Digital World

By July 6, 2017Uncategorized

Trending in news this week, was the bomb scare turned time capsule discovery. Dug up between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, the green practice bomb was filled with papers and photos and owned by John Argento and Danceteria nightclub.

Which got us thinking about what we’d put in our own time capsule. Normally time capsules are filled with photos, music, heirlooms, or artifacts from the time. But with everything being digital these days, would we know what to include?

85% of photos are now taken on a phone, with only 1 out of 100,000 of those photos being physically printed. There has definitely been a shift from precious film photos, carefully taken in small quantities. Treasured even if they were blurry, because it took time and money to capture. To extremely high quality photos, being taken every second. Every moment being documented and shared online. We take more photos now than ever, but are we at risk of losing all of our memories?

Google’s vice president warned that we need to preserve our data before we enter a second Dark Ages, saying “future generations would struggle to understand our society because technology is advancing so quickly that old files will be inaccessible”. In fact if technology were to fail, we’d lose more than just photos. We’d lose some knowledge completely. It really would be a second Dark Ages.

So including an iPhone in a time capsule, may not work as well as we’d hope. Years from now when we dig that time capsule back up, that iPhone may just be a useless block despite all the music, photos, and conversation saved on it. Perhaps we’d have to be the 1 in 100,000 who prints out a photo to include in the capsule. So then the question becomes, of the 1,487 photos in your camera roll, which one do you print?