Are you afraid of disappearing from the Internet? Are you scared of losing your data, your photo albums, your online profiles? Are you in fear of being erased, deleted, banned, censored, removed from your favorite platforms Youtube, Facebook, Twitter?
If you answer is Yes to any of these questions, chances are you are suffering fro a new paranoia, the fear of digital vanishing.
Or not so new. Rather, the fear of vanishing or disappearing existed long before the internet age of course. It has its roots in the fear of death. Or fear of amnesia (forgetfulness). You could die tomorrow and all ended on the spot. A frightful thought. People who suffer from this phobia have a long way ahead of recovery from paranoia and depression.
Better to back up your digital libraries, your collections, your stories. Better to open a second account, just in case the first one gets deleted. Or you lose your passport, lose your access.
What happens to your online presence once you are gone?
No, really, this is a serious question. You are two persons now, in a legal sense: There is you, the physical you, and then there is your online you, the bits in cyberspace. And they can live independent of each other, as we see from the many Facebook corpses (people who died but are still on Facebook).
If you cared to notice, most major online content creators, be it on Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, are constantly waffling about censorship, community strikes, adpocalypse, and what not. They are afraid to disappear, to lose viewers, to lose influence, to become irrelevant, to die on the Internet. In other words, they suffer from the Fear of Vanishing.
Maybe you have experienced the same fear, or observed it in others. Don’t be shy and leave a comment!