Friday, August 29, 2014


I've mused about this before, but I'm gonna go ahead and do it again. I'm pretty sure that archaeology in the future is going to involve wading through mountains of data to track a single person's data footprint.

As a personal example, if you skim through my Facebook profile photos, you would start during my sophomore year of high school, when I first got Facebook to stay in touch with a friend leaving for college. You'd see just a few photos from then, mostly at church/camp. You could watch me grow and make new friends who started commenting on those profile photos. NavYouth starts featuring prominently, and then I graduate high school (yay!). From there you can see me develop a whole new set of college friends, each year neatly split apart by the Halloween costumes and snowmen that my best friend and I built on the quad every winter. My siblings grow up in the photos too - the baby from my senior year of high school is a giggly five year old by my senior year of college, and you can see this in the photos. My friends start to get married, and I post photos with glowing brides. I get a boyfriend of my own (although he didn't appear in my profile photos until our relationship was almost two years old), and I graduate from college (double yay!). By December of this year, there will be another graduation photo where I'm sporting a two inch ribbon on my gown, showing that I have the coveted master's degree.

86 profile photos + 33 cover photos that chronicle the past six years of my life. And that's just the photos. Even I don't remember all the statuses I've ever written, or even the posts on this blog. One day, if I have a super ambitious grandchild, all of this will be at her fingertips, and she'll be able to know all kinds of intimate details about my life, down to the classes I took every semester in college (because I chronicled that on this blog!).

Data Science is awesome.