Friday, August 2, 2019

How Long Will We Be Remembered?

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Hello Internet, and they were talking about how long people are remembered.  It was a fascinating discussion of how long it takes for famous people to no longer be remembered by at least 100 people.  This was an intriguing discussion, because I am feeling an obligation to capture memories from my childhood so that future generations in my family know what life was like during those times.  This started me thinking about how technology has impacted the memories of people today.

As I mentioned, one of the goals I have is to capture memories for my children and grandchildren.  With the changes in technology, there are several different projects that are part of this goal.  One is to digitize all of the photographs from our parents and us.  Another is to delve into our ancestry.  I'm also in the process of changing VHS to digital format and writing about my memories of childhood.  These are major undertakings but could have a lasting impact on my family's history.

My parents had a few photographs of their family but not many.  In fact, I don't have a picture of my maternal grandmother.  Now we take pictures and videos with our phones every day.  Just think how this will change the memories of our children and grandchildren!  I feel lucky to have an audio recording of my grandfather.  Now I am searching for the best ways to save it digitally so I can share it with my siblings and children.

I use Ancestry to keep track of our family trees.  If you have used this, it's like a rabbit hole with an overwhelming amount of information. Add to this the new DNA reporting from Ancestry and 23andMe: we have so much data and information at our fingertips.  It HAS to change how people are remembered although it MAY devalue this information and these memories because they are so readily accessed.

The question is really: will all of this media and technology impact the lasting memories of generations?  I would think that it will for those people who are interested in learning about their family trees.  I also think that technology is allowing us to get closer to having memories of what people were really like.  Instead of a still photograph, we can now hear their voices, see how they moved, and better understand their personalities.  I find these changes fascinating and believe that memories will be improved and longer lasting if care is taken to preserve them.  It's a task I have chosen to take on for my family.  While it's overwhelming at times, I find a lot of joy in it.  Do you have someone in your family who is taking on the role of historian?

Have you found your tech joy today?



  1. This is a fascinating topic! I've often wondered if my online endeavours would ever be discovered by future generations of my family

  2. I agree! It's amazing how technology and media are changing in this area.