“The basic right to be forgotten” is a phrase which came out of a court case where people wanted to be able to delete their history which they might be embarrassed about and would not want to come up if, for instance, a potential employer did a search on them.
I was fascinated by this case and thought the phrase worthy of further reflection. I shared it for the opening reflection for our recent Grove booklet youth series planning meeting.
We made some connections re sins forgotten by God and others. However, there were some challenges re editing our social media history. A question was asked “What have you been forgotten for? The internet can be quite invasive and certainly I have one or two friends who delight in posting photographs of me from many years ago which perhaps I wouldn’t choose too. Big hair and big glasses anyone?!
We discussed how people generally only want to delete negative things. One person commented that if we managed our lives we might manage our histories a little better. But there are dangers in selectively editing ours and other people’s lives.
Some of us have been encouraged by contacts from way back and have appreciated the way that social media make us traceable. However, there are complex ethical problems inherent in this too and one person talked about how a youth group member with no online presence had been tagged by another person and there was no consent involved at all. Do we have a right to be unknown anymore?
The final reflection was a question, Does God choose to not remember or actually forget? What do you think?