I've been thinking about the way each of us use our various forms of communication. I communicate with my peeps by phone, both cellular and land line; I use email for some; I use my blog for some, and there is facebook. I'm enjoying facebook , but it is really different than this forum, and I'm not ready to give up the blog as sever people I know have done. This blog allows me to ramble and spew about a lot of things, and it is available to anyone who crops by to read. I'm generally thoughtful about what I put on here, not revealing too much on the personal front, but laying it out there about other things. I know I need to be prepared to defend my views when I put them here, but I realize I don't have to. It's just that I don't put anything here that I don't care about on some level, so I'm already emotionally involved when it is written to these pages. I have an emotional investment here, I guess.
FB is different. I love it for quick communication, and I like the choices of wide-open-out-there things that anyone on your list can read, the private messages if you don't want to broadcast something, and IM/Chat all rolled into one place. For me FB will not replace my blog.
There are some with whom I have connection only through email because they choose to not go to the blog and FB or they are not technologically up for it (I'm the youngest of 5 siblings, and while they are probably capable of coming here, they don't; I suspect for at least a couple it is over their limit of what they want to invest their time in learning), or just don't want to take the time. So I email those.
For vocal chatting, I use either of my phones frequently with a variety of people. And I text message, er, excuse me, txt msg with several people, too.
But do you know what I haven't done in a long time? Written a letter on paper, put it in an envelope, address it and stuck on a stamp and actually mailed it. I sent a few printed copies of my Christmas letter to some folks that don't have email to my knowledge, but most of them were emailed. That way I updated folks without wasting a tree on each of them. And I got to wondering .... when was the last time you wrote a personal, snail-mail letter?
Through FB, I have found a few people that I didn't have access to otherwise. One of the is a man who was an acquaintance in high school. We weren't friends back then as we were in different groups/cliques, but through the years we've seen each at class reunions and found that we enjoyed each other's company. Since I located him on FB , we've had a running conversation there, and last night we talked on the phone for nearly 2 hours. One of the things we talked about is the loss of the art of letter writing and the sad potential of losing history. He was talking about very old family letters and journals that recounted history that he would not likely know about otherwise. It was not handed down verbally. He is right. Many of us will lose those pieces of familial stories that take us to our roots if we don't do something about it.
Let me interject here the idea I've mentioned before, that each of you should document family stories and history in some way. If you don't write paper letters that are kept, will your descendants know who you are, what you are all about? Very little. Stop and think how much you know about your grandparents. How about your great-grandparents? For most of us it is very little, unless you or a family member do genealogy and actually record it somewhere. Some of us know the general lines on ancestry, the names, maybe some dates, but how many of you know more than one story about great-grandpa? So think about it, and don't say tomorrow you'll do it. We all know tomorrow never comes. You will put it off and never start. But if you pick up a pen and a notebook today and write down one memory of today or your childhood or a story about great-grandpa, just a paragraph or two, it is there for the future. Or write it in the computer, keeping an electronic journal. If you do just a bit every day, think of the history you can preserve for your kids,grand kids, nieces or nephews.
Back to the FB thing .... I think the reason I like using many forms of communication and recording is the ability to expand my horizons. For instance, as my friend says, the written word is being lost and the historical value is in jeopardy. So we should write and record, by all means. Yet, I wouldn't be having these conversation with that same friend if it were not for one of the newer forms of communication, facebook! I really use FB to connect, not just project my rambling thoughts (sorry, those goes here when I can really, really ramble!!) as some others do. I have no problem that they use FB in a different way; there is room for that in FB or in blogs, for that matter.
Do I twitter? No. Personally, I don't want little updates all day long! I somehow got on an entertainment spam txt msg feed recently, and I was reassured that I don't want that, even from friends. I like the mix of communication formats I have at this time. I may change some of that in the future, but for now phone, cell phone, email, blog and facebook will suffice! I also keep a paper journal, although not very regularly. I manage to get key event in there. And I'm preserving my history for my kids in a memoir on the computer.
What forms of information do you use and enjoy? And .... What is your contribution for your historical preservation?