Sometimes I wish I knew more about my grandparents. More about their daily lives, their likes, and whatnot. I know very little to next to nothing really. Mostly some foggy memories, funny stories, and what I can ascertain from a box of old yellowed photos. I know nothing about my great grandparents. That bothers me and I wish that weren’t the case.
I think about that now that I have kids. Will their kids know me?
Will having a blog or social media presence or a digital catalog of photos help them know me? Will future generations benefit from the digital trail most of us are leaving behind? I don’t know. I think so in some way merely because we are documenting so much of our lives now. Then again maybe WordPress, Twitter, Instagram, and Peggsite are just today’s version of the 8mm camera my dad would break out at Christmas. And they, too, will eventually be relegated to a dusty box in the back of a bedroom closet to never really be looked at.
I feel like with all this amazing technology for documenting our lives it should be easier for future generations to come to know and understand us. Though that’s probably being optimistic and I suppose narcissistic. Throughout human history we really only know and associate with one generation removed in either direction. Possibly two if you’re lucky. That fascinates me and I wonder if that cycle can be circumvented. Maybe the lowly, handwritten diary remains the best defense against obsolescence?
What we do know is that time only moves forward and you can only truly experience life with your contemporaries. Even with the ridiculous levels of digital documentation I’m not sure that will ever change.