Too Much Data

I was a late comer to social media, reluctantly joining Facebook in 2011, Instagram and Twitter not till 2016, to promote my beach litter cleaning and art, raising awareness of the issue, which thanks to David Attenborough the rest of the world is finally waking up to both this and climate change, so imagine my shock to find that me, eco warrior of over 40 years, is adding to the latter problem in a way I hadn’t even thought of.

Listening to an accompanying soundbite of a BBC podcast series I am shocked to find that all that ‘stuff’ we put out there, photos, comments etc, stays out there, stored in huge server buildings, powered by mostly non-renewable energy, the third biggest user in the world, emitting as much CO2 as the airline industry, something I feel passionately about!

Personally it’s something that just didn’t occur to me, so guilty as charged what can I / we do about it? the World Wide Web grew so quickly that no protocols for keeping or deleting all this stuff were put in place and as a species we are huge hoarders, we hate getting rid of stuff, maybe we all need to declutter our Social Media accounts, every so often, a data spring clean, but how do we decide what to keep and what to delete? and it’s just another chore in our already busy lives, maybe that’s why Facebook and Instagram have recently introduced ‘stories’ which get deleted after 24 hours.

I still have a love, hate relationship with social media but will I stop posting? probably not, because like everyone else I feel I have something to say and if one of my posts makes just one person think about reducing their plastic use, pick up a piece of litter or take part in a beach clean, walk or cycle instead of using their car then it’s worth it, in terms of storage and decluttering maybe I will think about whether I need to share yet another image of a sunset seen by thousands of others, maybe I’ll explore the ‘stories’ option a bit more…

maybe what we should all be doing, is petitioning the IT companies to power these Server buildings with renewable electricity? it sounds like they have enough room to install wind turbines or solar panels, would that at least ease our conscious? 

and of course used properly the world wide web is a great innovation, it allows us to find information to live better more ethical lives with a few taps and probably more importantly it allows us to raise awareness of issues and  rally together through social media...


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