Cox’s citizen archivist unpacks his/her existence through social media. They track their existence with precision, the precision of a professional trained to pour over details. Cox poses the notion that the democratization of communication technologies proliferated the professional care, once intertwined with the institution to the public record, into the personal life of the masses. Derrida’s focus, pre social media, correctly identifies a grave importance to the archive, however this importance, in Derrida’s view is institutional, is a mater outside of the hands of the individual.
Cox accounts for this perspective momentarily acknowledging the need for a specified understanding of the archive.
“Whatever perspective archivists might assume about shaping the documentary heritage through planned appraisal approaches, private individuals will continue to save their own personal and family archives and, different than what has occurred in the past, we might see these documents not hidden away but visibly posted on the Web.
Archivists must explain and advise about the basic tasks necessary
to maintain archival documentation, requiring new depths of
technical and other knowledge, such as intellectual property and
personal privacy. ” Cox writes.
Nonetheless Derrida speaks to a more persuasive view of the necessity of “secret” in the preservation of archives. In Cox’s view, the technologies involved in archiving contemporarily allow for a choice in the nature of the personal archive. no longer do family photos sit dormant in a cabinet as they are shared fervently over social media, eliminating their “secret.”
The citizen archivist raises questions about what the archive can e in relation o memory, if man’s approach to memory became a science itself, self help could be institutionalized as we’d naviate our digital lives for clues abut our current world. Therapy could, for the citizen archivist, be calculated on a source more dependable than memory.