What is your Steemit Legacy? : writing in permanent marker on the blockchain

2년 전

When you die the people who love you, acquaintances, old high school friends, and your enemies will storm your Social Media. I know this because two years ago my sister stood from her jigsaw puzzle, walked to the kitchen, poured a glass of water and collapsed from heart failure. Within 48 hours she was on life support. A week later her death went viral. Not in a Kanye way. Viral in a ‘I had no idea how loved she was and how many lives her existence had touched’ way. The preferable way.

I am Facebook averse (it is not good for my self-esteem and faulty brain wiring) and even I went there. To see her face, sift for videos and to hear her voice. To see her animated. We all did. As I scrolled I understood where this engine of love had gained its momentum. She was sweet, funny, sharp as a tack. She bantered like nobody’s business. She was charming and she was raw.

As a back-of-the-pack triathlete she was inspiring. Honest about wars waged with weight, body image, self-esteem deficits and mental health monsters. We watched her carry them into the water where they calmed, charge out on the bike where they belted at her and strap them onto her back while she ran. People saw her and set down their bag of chips, put the lid back on the ice-cream, tied their excuses up in a bow and shoved them in the bottom draw. Then they got up off the couch.

I saw wreaths of words laid at her Facebook page. Testimonies of her impact on lives. To the fact that when things got tough, on the race course or in life, it was her voice people heard. Her face that kept them from crawling back to the couch and encouraged one more step. And another and another - until the race was done. She carried them on the back of her honesty to the finish line.

I can tell you with certainty, because she was mine, that my sister was not trying to live an inspiring life. Most days she was doing her best to stay off the couch, living inside a paper thin skin with demons pounding in her head. She was an open wound with gunk oozing from the broken parts of her brain.

This, too, is visible on her Social Media. Posts that bleed a little too much. Debris scattered where the wounds have opened onto the screen. When I see them I visualise her at the pearly gates sitting next to Saint Peter on a stone step. Charmingly debating the merits of reincarnation. Expressing with well reasoned arguments her case for returning momentarily to press delete. I see him laughing at her cleverness, appreciating her position and over time being worn down by her determination. As we all were. For now, Peter’s answer remains a firm no.


Journaling out loud

We imagine our best friend, husband or grown children finding our private journals after we’re gone and cringe. Social media isn’t a journal. When you hit enter we can all read it. When you are no longer here we will be compelled to. In this world your posts are your legacy.

When I see the Facebook pages of those who have died too young I feel sad that they are frozen in mainframe time without the wisdom a longer life would have gifted (or cursed) them with. The same wisdom I see emerging from their friends who have already lost one too young.

I wince when I see older people, who should know better, firing shots across their digital bow. Passive-aggressive slurs designed for a particular person, outright family brawls played out for all to see. When the nastiness flies I think, “You’re going to regret that. Soon one of you will be dead”.

It cannot be taken back. It will always make you very sad. I know this because when my sister poured her last glass of water I had barely spoken to her in three years. My last words to her were a cutting Facebook message issued from a deep wound, designed to tear at pieces of her heart. I have deleted it from my side because it breaks me a little more each time it gets caught in the corner of my eye. When I see my brother-in-law on her Facebook I know it is still there. I resist the urge to leap across the table and remove it for good. A little poisonous package of pain. It tarnishes the love contained in the grief. A fleck that itches and scratches and cannot be undone.

Take a breath

Now, when my fingers are poised on the keyboard, I imagine the anthropologists and archaeologists of the future. I see them wandering around in the virtual clouds, data recovery specialists, dressed in hazmat suits sifting through our toxic waste while wondering what the fuck was up with Kanye. I watch them pulling out bits and bytes of me and deciding who I am, determining my legacy. My backspace button is worn to ‘space’ from use. It reminds me to let things breathe before I press enter.

When I hear complaints about people posting too many pictures of their kids or dog. Or too many memes. I think “you have that very wrong”. When they drop dead their children will know they were cherished and everyone will know to take care of the dog. There will be frowning and harsh judgement if anyone sends it to the pound. In the midst of tears and snot pouring onto keyboards laughter will echo at remembered joy brought by silly memes. That is a legacy worth having.

As I sit here carving out more time to write for Steemit I am struck by the need to pay the rent and the temptation to post half baked wads of trollop. I battle this at least once a week. Most often when I realise that two weeks have passed since I last resolved to post once a week and cannot think of a single thing worth saying.

It is easy to be virtuous from the top of the hill. Challenging when sliding into the slums. This is why my country is populated by descendants of people who stole some bread. When payment for posts on Steemit is thrown into the mix, the bank balance is low and you need to buy groceries there is an urge to shove your hand in the Baker’s window and grab at what you can.

When this happens I sit quietly at my desk, light a candle (should the power be cut off) and see those scientists in their hazmats rifling through my digital life. I remember that what my son has to read among his snot is more important than the dollar sign next to it.

I like to imagine that he will be terribly grief stricken rather than glad to be rid of me, therefor driven to protect my good name. I imagine him grateful that I’ve saved him the trouble of finding that God awful long password. The many attempts of entering it correctly. And the lesson that he cannot edit or delete a single thing here because it is etched into the eternity of the blockchain. I imagine him silently thanking me through his tears for not posting half baked wads of trollop. Then I shut down my computer, go for a walk and try to dislodge the flecks of dust caught in my eye.

__________________________________________________________

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When you lost someone we love, it's the most painful thing ever. We feel how helpless we are. We cannot do anything.

Now what we do on social media, it is available there. And we you write something on social media based on blockchain, it is like you're writing with permanent marker. It will always be available.

Pro-found.
Many considerations very recognisable (in relation to my sister - still here, just).
Some things are maybe only buried out in this stream of words that can say so little. You and I both know it is wise to edit, edit, edit (i.e. breathe ever more lightly). Ultimately we too will have nothing left to post but "kids and dogs", and that's when I, for one, no longer belong here, too deeply involved with something real that speaks for itself.

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Thanks for the feedback. I edit over and over until the 7 days is up.

First of all I am sorry for your sister's death. That is a very bitter reality.

Your post represents my feelings. On this steemit platform we have to give the best in any case, because here teaches us about how to share and as evidence that we have ever recorded history in this life, when our children or relatives read it then this is a form of memories the oldest being.
Very good @onethousandwords

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Thank you for your condolences. I like that the permanence of the block chain forces me to think twice.

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Yes, I do too. Moreover you as a person who loves to write, I think it fits perfectly with your soul @onethousandwords

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Me too. I started here to have a place to learn about writing and develop the craft so it has been perfect.

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Yups, let's keep learning. May you continue to succeed sis..

Sad to hear about your loss. I think you should write everyday on steemit. I'm really positive that this can help you pay more than your rent. Write Relentlessly, without using your backspace much. Blockchain is an opportunity for people like you to be independent. So don't give in! When you don't have words, take a pic and post it on Steepshot/ made a video for Dlive or dtube. Would love to see more from you :)

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Thank you truly for such beautiful encouragement. I am actually in the process of setting up another Steemit account for my photography. I'm not sure why but I feel like I want them to be separated out here. That I will post on far more often.

For now I shall aim to find enough words to post once a week. I don't think I could manage a daily written post.

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Dtube, Dlive and Steepshot are like rivers flowing into Steemit ...different feeds, one platform! As long as it doesn't increase your workload I suppose. Good luck :)

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Thanks. I have a lot of photos sitting about with nothing to do so it won't be too much effort to start to share them.

This is so powerful @onethousnadwords. God's grace is truly amazing!!

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I'm glad you connected with it. Thanks.

Sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing such profound thoughts!

Congratulations, your post was discovered and featured by @OCD in its daily compilation 207!

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If you would like your posts to be resteemed by @ocd to reach a bigger audience, use the tag #ocd-resteem. You can read about it here.


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Thank you so much for sharing my post. I already follow @ocd - love the daily posts and find lots of gems from your cutation.

Wow. This is really powerful, beautiful stuff.

It is something I think about a bit and actually spoke to my parents about today at lunch. I know that in the future all this stuff will be part of the historic record. After I am gone, perhaps too soon for my young kids to really know me, or perhaps for my great grand kids - they will be able to read my legacy on the blockchain and know me. They will see what I stood for, what I believed in. In a morbid way it gives me comfort.

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I don't think its morbid. Now like never before we are leaving ourselves behind and it will be easy for future generations to see exactly who we were and what our lives were like.

Thank you for your feedback and lovely thoughts. I really appreciate you taking the time.

I’m so sorry for the loss of your sister. Your post really touched my heart, it’s so true we should stop and think before letting words fly out of our fingertips. Social media as a whole is a cesspool, the only platform I use is steemit❣️🐓

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Thank you for your kind words. Steemit has some real gems.

Again, a beautiful post. So sorry about your sister. Things left unsaid are haunting. I spoke to my Mum the night before she died and forgot to say I love you like 1000 times before that I did. I was going to call back but I thought , she wasn't feeling well, and oh, I'll tell her tomorrow. There should be a huge back space button on all our lives. xx

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I'm sorry also for your loss. Things unsaid are hard to get past. I'm still trying to find a place to tuck away my regret.

Hey there, I'm Oatmeal Joey Arnold, and this is a beautiful question and that is what life is all about. Life is a series of unfortunate and fortunate events. Your reflection on your sister is a fundamental transition to leveling up in life. Some of my family and friends have died, I'm 33 now and am from Oregon, and we are able to appreciate people more when we lose them. We can also find secrets to life in those moments as life is short but precious. It is key to build relationships with people, to invest in people. My legacy is in yummy delicious oatmeal, hehe.

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Everything you say is so true. Life changes in a way that is hard to explain when it takes you through a storm. It has a far deeper sense of reverence about it.

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No pain, no gain: no oatmeal, no honey.

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Intriguing thoughts. I rely on a handwritten diary. I'm sure that the guys dressed in hazmat suits (the pure imagination of them made me laugh out loud) wouldn't be able to decipher a word of my scrawl—sometimes I've got difficulties to read it myself …

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This is a beautiful post. You write so well. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. I hope that whatever I leave on this landscape is honestly and rawly me - once that would have made me ashamed but now I'm okay with that. It's who I am and that's okay. But I am very, very cautious about what I say and what I post - as I try to be in my real life too. I love the link you make between archaeology and the digital landscape.

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Thank you so much, What a beautiful reply to my post. I am so sorry I did not respond earlier. I had lost my password for Steemit and have only just found it again.

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