The loss of millions of songs and pictures during a data migration of the once-upon-a-time social media king, MySpace, is not necessarily tragic. By comparison, there’s no shortage of tragedies to occupy our collective attention. However, there is a message that is summed up well in a recent NY Times article:
"The massive data loss underscores a modern danger: As we increasingly give pieces of our lives over to big tech companies, we lose control of some of our most intimate artifacts."
Because by any reasonable measure, our online lives have huge value for us. We dedicate time to them. We generate content, from music to images to poetry. Rejection and alienation from an online community can be disastrous, especially for the most vulnerable among us. Consider the impact of cyber-bullying. It feels like the loss of so much human activity contributed to MySpace is a colossal waste. The general reaction is ambivalent at most. Have we gotten so callous from a breach here to a data loss there that we collectively agree that companies carelessly processing personal data is a necessary evil and beyond our control. We don’t care too much about it ... unless it happens to us.