Such is Life

We live one life, we have but one identity, and time is our most valuable asset. So, why do we fail to control our identities that embody us online?

Such is Life

A mouse fell into half a tank of rice, and was delighted. After checking that there was no danger, he ate the rice and fell asleep immediately. Such is life, and he ate and slept in the tank for a while. But as life goes not, the rice is fast depleting, and finally, he finished all the rice.

It was only then that he realized, that jumping out is only his dream, and everything is not within his control.

We are the mice.

Your favorite applications are the rice.

All is well until you realize nothing online is within your control.

Digital World

We now live in a world where more than one in every two individuals is on social media. (Kemp, Digital 2020). The typical user has activated accounts at Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and many others all while proceeding through nearly identical profile setup requirements. Your name, your email, your identity duplicated countless times across platforms living in centralized databases.

It is predicted that by 2024 the total annual app downloads will come to 184 Billion per year (Sensor Towers, Business of Apps). With less than 8 Billion humans in existance today the redundency is obvious. So, why are we required to set up similar online profiles for every application?

The answer is simple - each app wants to own and control your identity. It is of their interest to store your data on their servers and house your entire digital existance on their platform.

For such an important topic to go nearly unnoticed one must begin to wonder how we've gotten to the current state of data ownership and management in our digital world. We do know the Internet was created out of the understanding that we would all be consumers and producers of content - yet somewhere it went awry.

Siloed no more

One must not assume the Internet is done evolving - its very existence relies on evolution at the speed of the computer industry. Yet we have become complacent to big tech and assume any deviation from the current structure is impossible.

One should not conclude that the Internet has now finished changing. The Internet, although a network in name and geography, is a creature of the computer, not the traditional network of the telephone or television industry. It will, indeed it must, continue to change and evolve at the speed of the computer industry if it is to remain relevant. - Internet Society

Similar to the Internet itself, its users are ever-changing and always evolving. We're curious, its in our nature to continue moving forward, and it is simply not natural for our data to be siloed at the hands of large corporate control. We must shift our thinking from simply focusing on data privacy and begin to open the door to data opportunity.

To seize the opportunity at hand first ask yourself - Do I care?

If yes, then your next question should be - Where do I begin?

The shift from focusing on data privacy to data empowerment will begin with each user obtaining a Decentralized Identifier (DID).

This DID is yours and yours alone.

This DID will become your universal login.

This DID will grow with your identity through verified credentials.

This DID is the future we must foster for ourselves.

Time is limited

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking. - Steve Jobs

We live one life, we have but one identity, and the time we spend cultivating our existence is the most valuable asset we possess. Each moment spent in this digital world, as in our physical world, adds to the life we have created for ourselves.

It's time we take ownership of what we do online.

Interested in your digital future? Connect with me on Twitter @DonaldBullers or by email