With over 2 billion photos uploaded to Facebook each month and 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every MINUTE, when will we have time to enjoy it all? And where will we keep it until then?
As I bemoaned the fact the other day that I had nothing I wanted to listen to in my music collection, I had to pause and laugh. I have what some of my friends consider to be a rather puny collection at about 14,000 song files. Really? Nothing to listen to? If I DID choose to listen to it all, I just did the math, and it would play non-stop for just over 48 days! And my collection is only about 0.001% of the 13,000,000 songs on iTunes. This reminded me of a discussion I had years ago when I worked in a bookstore and I asked one of the more seasoned bibliophiles on staff when he thought was the last time a person might have read all the books in print, and without hesitating he replied “around the time of Voltaire”. I guess book store employees have time to ponder these things. Today, if you were to read a book a day, it would take you 355,794 years to accomplish the same feat, at least based on Google Books’ count, which is 129,864,880 books. Things get worse when it comes to user-generated content. If you wanted to watch all the videos uploaded to YouTube from JUST TODAY, it would take you about 94 years. Of course, somewhere in there you’d be watching a few thousand versions of Keyboard Cat, but that’s how much video was uploaded today; 24 hours’ worth every minute. And things are for all practical purposes just as hopeless if you have any intention of trying to keep up with feature films; this source says that globally, there were 6,324 made by major studios in 2009, and if you include indy films submitted to major festivals, the number jumps to 50,000 each year. Even if you stuck to only watching the major releases, that’s still 17 movies a day. So where do we store all this media? And when will we have time to consume it? Well, the answer to the first question may soon become a problem; 2008 was the first year in which the data we generated exceeded our available storage space. Thank God we delete old e-mails, right? And the answer to the second is up to you. Personally, this all made me realize that with an estimated 37 years to live (according to this MSN calculator, who knows how much storage space it uses) I probably need to select my media more carefully, and maybe read a book before years’ end. That hour on YouTube, 3 hours on Wikipedia, and 2 hours sharing it all on Facebook last night was probably time better spent.
While there are 24 hours worth of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, there are other things happening in that minute too. The image below is from Tosh.0, a Comedy Central show that I’ve never seen because I don’t have hard drive space to store torrents of it. The original graphic can be found here. That means there are for sure at least three copies of it somewhere.
The research staff at Dissociated Press did some further studies, and made the alarming discovery that with the current rate of growth and distribution of unnecessary and confusing infographics, they will comprise 87.3% of the data created worldwide by the end of 2010, causing the entire Internet to grind to a halt by June, 2011. Here are some infographics to help you understand why:
Although this Evolution of Storage infographic goes into mind-numbing detail, it fails to explain where it plans to store itself:
Likewise with this infographic about cloud storage that makes its point with iPads and elephants. Neither one has USB ports, so how will we transfer all our infographics to them?