To make a thorough, continuous digital record of your life in video, sound, pictures and print.
This is one of the new "buzzwords" of our English language as of 2007, so said this NY Times article. First off, what a great word... it sounds lovely and is perfectly descriptive.
I love the history of other people made up in visuals, writing, or other media. Things like wedding slideshows, yearbooks, scrapbooks... anything that can add to a more complete idea of who a person is other than what you can talk to them about face-to-face. Our facebook and myspace pages are now one of the most common and easiest places to contain our lifestreams (at least for my generation, which is basically the first to be presented with such technology).
I have a few thoughts about the growing and ever more present concept of one's lifestream...
In some ways, it is easier than ever to control your image. You can put out anything for anyone else to see, post only the good photos of yourself, "untag" yourself from bad ones, write anything you want on a blog or under your "favorite books" section, make certain conversations with others visible to everyone.
Also, it is easier than ever to get your ideas out, albeit maybe more with more competition since it's also easier for everyone else. I wonder how quickly Leonardo da Vinci would have gained fame if he'd been able to scan his sketches and post them in an album on his facebook and blog about his ideas and art and promote his talent in an online community.
In other ways, it's harder to hide ourselves if we want to. With technology, information clueing others in to who you are is available to almost anyone. Your name can be googled. The time and location of your cell phone calls can be traced. Someone can share anything they hear or make up about you with any and everyone else by a simple mass text message (maybe most of us know a junior higher this has happened to). If you participate in a sprint triathlon everyone can look up your final time in relation to all the other way more in shape people than you. Ha. Anyway, this concept can be scary; our having less privacy, but also, there seems to be more accountability. If you live truthfully, there is nothing to hide. Or if you don't live truthfully, at least be cautious of who can figure that out, unlike the third grade teacher of a friend's daughter, whose public myspace was found by a parent and had many photos of her smoking weed, and evidence of constant partying til the early dawn hours on school nights. Oops.
One more idea... I think in some circles the idea of one's lifestream is getting taken a little too far. As in, the attempt to record and share what you're doing, how you're feeling, who you're talking to, and the song you're listening to at any given moment. Twitter is an example of that... you can sign up and program your page to share those things with anyone else who is connected, and even receive text message updates whenever those peoples' Twitter pages are added to. So if your friend is "heading out to Paseo Nuevo!" or "enjoying their new Alicia Keys album" or "feeling tired after breaking in their new nikes on the city college track " you'll be sure to know. Does this seem like madness to anyone else? Do we want to know what others are doing and feeling at all times and to share the same about ourselves...it seems to arise from a desire to feel affirmed, that what I'm doing is of note to someone, that I'm being thought of... within this family of oversharing also lie the email alerts to anything happening on your facebook, the friend count on myspace, certain uses of webcams, etc. Maybe it's the introvert in me, but I don't like broadcasting constantly what I'm doing and how I'm feeling. And I can't think it's healthy that the generation just below me is growing up seeing that it's normal to want and seek constant acknowledgment and feedback on every single thing that they do.
I'm happy that circumstances have created a need for a word such as lifestream. And I like the opportunity for online sharing and virtual feedback and instant communication gratification as much as any of you, I'd say. But all things in moderation right?