We Have Met the Enemy, and It Is Us
New York Times article, “The Digital Pileup,” March 12, 2011.
In this essay Shelley Polodny argues that digital information actually has weight and cost, and that we, the end-users, are responsible for seventy percent of the digital universe, as we “Browse, share, and entertain ourselves.” We need to clean up our act, he asserts, and delete documents and information that we no longer need. Data centers filled with servers hold all this information, and, Polodny argues, “It’s not the giants like Google or Amazon or Wall Street investment banks that are responsible for creating the data load on those servers — it’s us.
The problem, of course, is that it takes time and personal energy to prune our email folders or our Facebook pages or eliminate our avatars from online games that we have left behind. But here’s something we can do to reduce the carbon footprint of our internet use: look through the online storage we are responsible for, and reduce it to the minimum.