Today, many of us find ourselves on the grid at all times. We have devices of all shapes and sizes; our personal and business lives are wrapped up in the Internet. Studies say that 65% of us sleep with our phones. We grab them look for an update from the outside world. The constant stimulation and endorphin rush that comes with the satisfaction, that someone needs or is thinking of you at all times is met by our social networks and communications inputs. For our generation, this is new to us – something we did not have growing up.
The volume of digital footprints that we are creating and feeding to the Googles of the world is really astounding. Most people understand if the Internet knows about our lives, then the advertising industry also knows about our daily habits wants and needs. We continue to feed that stream of data, not begrudgingly, but happily. There was a time when the thought of Big Brother watching us was absolutely frightening; today many don’t give it a second thought. It’s a way of life.
I recently read an article about a camera that you wear to photograph your entire life. It’s called the Autographer and hangs around your neck to capture the “best 2,000 moments” of each day. For someone in his forties, that’s about 25,500,00 pictures that’ll document the rest of my life.
When I think about this documentation of every moment, I think about who will watch it? My immediate family? My distant friends who might be interested in what I do now? My elementary school girlfriend? Will it be for my children, grandchildren and generations to come that I will never meet?
Virtually all of today’s younger generations have a digital record started, in many cases, before they were old enough to have any input. My three-year-old daughter’s photo was tweeted to the Internet within minutes of her birth into this world. Come to think of it, her web presence began with an announcement and the posting of a sonogram on Facebook. This story is not at all unique; 92% of parents today do this and 82% of children under the age of two have some sort of digital profile.
Future generations will know us through photography, video, posts, and search information, purchase histories that can be woven together that tell a rather complete and complex story of our lives. They will have insight that we certainly do not have about our grandparents, let alone great great grandparents. What they will do with that information is yet to be determined. How will the knowledge they have of us and our decision-making process effect their own choices? Does knowing that you come from a long line of Ford owners, or generations of Huggies wearers affect your purchasing decisions? Most likely the answer to that is yes it will. We already know that the brand loyalty of your mother and grandmother subconsciously affects where you place your trust. So is all of this documentation necessary? And who is it really for?
The Autographer is slated to go on sale in November. A perfect holiday gift for your future generations or just today’s advertisers?