01 May 2007

The Digital Shadow

Last term in our course on Digital History, I believe I got the reputation of being the anti-digital crank. I even wrote a blog post in my own defence.

In the 24 February Globe & Mail of this year, in an article on our society’s increasing individual isolation, author Erin Anderssen refers to what is called a “digital shadow.” A digital shadow includes, among other things, “a camera phone [that] makes it possible to document that rush-hour fender-bender or to record a farewell to your loved ones if you’re trapped in an avalanche”[1].

I could add a few other things to this list, but suffice it to say that this idea is both novel, and old, to me. I've thought of it before, but I always considered it more of a leash than a shadow. But I like the shadow metaphor better. It's darker, perhaps more looming.

And ominous.

[1]: Erin Anderssen quoting John Pliniussen, The Globe and Mail, 24 February 2007, F6.

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