We recently celebrated the new year, a fairly significant milestone to many.
Looking at it like that, we humans sure do like setting milestones, commemorating events that happened, and setting hard numerical goals for when something becomes worth it or whatever. Think about it. We celebrate the change of years, events that happened exactly X years ago. We celebrate the millionth pageview, the thousandth blog post. Not to mention the first hundred kilometers on your fitness tracker or the 365th consecutive day you did sports to get fit.
The scope of our data collection may have grown explosively over the past years, but it’s something we’ve always done to some extent. Before language was even a thing we recorded events, some more significant than others, for future reference. I think setting milestones is a byproduct of our apparently innate desire to record and track. And it’s more strongly manifesting now, in the information age.
On the one hand, this allows us to better see our accomplishments. On the other hand, they may be drowned out by the achievements of others.