Friday, August 17, 2012

When I was Young or How I Survived that 5 Mile Walk to School in the Snow

(c) 2012 Gena Philibert-Ortega
Do you ever ponder how much technology has changed since you were younger? My kids can't believe that I didn't have cable TV or a remote control growing up. (Like most people the remote was my brother or I getting up and changing the television channels, all eight of them).  They really start wondering about me when I tell them that we didn't have color TV until I was a teenager.

But today I started thinking about other technologies that are different. When I went to high school I typed my papers on a manual typewriter. As a college student I bought an electric typewriter which seemed like a luxury. I learned to type in junior high, the same time I learned to take shorthand.

When I graduated from college, I used  a word processor for work. Boy, that seemed like the best thing ever. Not only could you type, but you could correct mistakes prior to pushing the print button. Then your text would be printed on a piece of paper (dot matrix). I was so grateful to have that and not have to mess with correction fluid or ribbons.

In my brief time on this earth (well not too brief) I have seen technologies come and go. Items that were essential when I was younger (telephone booths, typewriters, carbon paper, mimeograph machines) are now antiques. So if that is true for me, imagine how it is for my parents or grandparents.

So what does this have to do with genealogy? Everything.

Need help writing your life story? Think about how life has changed since you were young and write about that. Write about what you used  a typewriter for and include a photo since no one will know what that is in 100 years. Write about your trek to school each day and  include a map. Talk about what you did for entertainment. Help your descendents have a visual picture of life back in the 'old days' circa 1980 or even 1940.

Write what life was like for you. Write like you wish your ancestors  had written.


Heather Rojo said...

My grandmother was born in 1890. I once asked her what was the greatest thing she had witnessed during her life (she died in 1985). She said that when she was born, airplanes didn't even exist. Then they were used in wars, and later for passengers. She flew to California and was amazed. Then the space program came, and man went to the moon. She thought that was quite a bit for one person's lifetime!

Gena Philibert-Ortega said...

Hi Heather!

It is amazing isn't it? When I think of my grandparents and great-grandparents and all they experienced and saw it's incredible. It makes me wonder what changes I will have seen by the time I am a great-grandmother. I have seen a lot of changes in technology, can't imagine what changes are to come in the next 30-40 years.

Thanks for commenting and reading my blog. I appreciate it!