Have our conversations changed?
There’s little doubt that the means we use to communicate with one another have changed radically in recent years, but what about the conversations themselves? Are our conversations today as informative as our conversations of just a few years ago and what does this mean in the context of passing on family information?
As storyteller Kathy Hansen writes, much of our information today comes to us in fragmentary form. Indeed, most of us are overwhelmed by a steady deluge of fragments daily, leaving it up to us to put them into some sort of meaningful context. The current popularity of social media applications Facebook, MySpace and Twitter encourage us to abbreviate and disseminate as widely as possible.
But how can anyone reasonably assess the messages received from hundreds of Facebook friends or Twitter followees in the “normal” course of a day?
Even if you’re not a devotee of these apps, other factors may be affecting your conversations – cell phones, e-mail, geographical separation, illness.
Many of us see our loved ones so infrequently that we are more likely to spend our time just catching up rather than reflecting and sharing on our family’s past. Without a concerted effort to preserve our family stories, they will be gone forever within two generations. And, even if your kids or grandkids show little interest in those stories today, the time till come when they’ll want them. Will they be available to them?
Here are just a few newspaper links from the past few days that show how people are finding a way to save family stories. You may find some inspiration or useful tips in these stories. (Warning: these links could expire at any time, so don’t dally.):
Spurlock delves into the past
The Secret Message
A genealogical dig for Italian connections
Keeping Cultures Alive
Jack McEneny digs deep into history
Columnist relates family history
Flickr photo courtesy of *clairity*.