If Everything Is Recorded
Last year (okay, so it wasn’t that long ago, but it’s still fun to say “last year”) Note to Self had an episode called “There Is No ‘Off the Record’” about a “future were every word you utter is recorded and saved.” Your life, transcribed.
This is different from writing everything down in a journal or keeping a really detailed calendar. Recording your life (and then automatically transcribing it) means that you (and everyone who interacts with you) would have a record of every word spoken.
You would be able to go back and re-read your favourite conversations again. You could snuggle up with your partner and re-read your first date every anniversary. You could remember every funny thing someone said to you long after they’re gone. Imagine that: You could type their name in the data system and bring up every time they spoke to you or you spoke about them.
It would also record every snide remark you make behind closed doors. It would record your arguments, and you may be tempted to re-read them and cringe over every hurtful word when you’re down.
I’ve been wobbling on the fence, thinking about this episode a lot, because we’re in a strange age where words are recorded — such as typed on Twitter and then screenshotted by various people even after the person deletes their words — and people still deny that they said such things. And other people believe them. That is the most bizarre part: The words are there in black-and-white — either written down and spoken in a recording — and the person says, “I never said that.” And people echo, “He never said that.”
So what is the point? I mean, beyond your own personal record? What is the point when other people can see or hear the proof and still say, “Nope. Never said.”
At the same time, how can we ever move forward and change as human beings if we’re always held to old ideas? What if someone has offensive ideas and their mind is changed? Should we go with the most recent words, or do we hold them to their older ideas, too?
I don’t think I’d want every conversation recorded and transcribed, despite seeing all the benefits to the system. I would love to relive some old conversations; but I couldn’t handle people who say, “Nope, never said it” despite evidence to the contrary. It’s bad enough as is.
What do you think about the idea of recording and transcribing every single day of your life?