The Downside of a Digital Life: Leaving Memories Behind

The Downside of a Digital Life: Leaving Memories Behind

Taryn Williford
May 11, 2009

Even though we're the most connected generation ever, I can't help but feel like we might also be the generation to leave the least behind for our great grandchildren. Today, we have photo albums and handwritten letters to look at and read through for a sense of family history and nostalgia. But when our great grandchildren are old enough to care, will they be stuck with only a severely outdated optical disc full of JPEG files that their fancy future-computer programs can't open? Is there a downside to doing everything digitally?

Let's face it, technology these days is a rapidly changing field where it only takes about 5 years for a storage medium to fall down from the top rung on the ladder of popular tech, and about 10 years to become completely obsolete in our everyday lives. It's rather inconvenient to find that you need to access something on an old floppy disk, I'd imagine.

But ink on paper is completely analog. As long as we still use the roman alphabet and read English from left to right, we can leave something behind for future generations. A bunch of pictures of your wedding taken on a digital camera and uploaded to Facebook will do your descendants nothing if you don't take the time to print them out in good quality before Facebook dissappears. Even taking the time to download them is useless if you keep everything digital. Remember, printed photographs are completely analog.

Instead of rushing to scan every last photo of our grandparents' weddings, why don't we try to de-digitize our lives for our grandkids? What do you think, Unplggd?

Image: Flickr member Gustty with a Creative Commons License.

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