Want to record lasting memories?
What are the best ways to share memories with family and friends?
Do you want to create a digital afterlife?
Reasons to Record Your Memories
Do you want to find a way to continue to be part of your family’s life after you are gone? When you record your cherished memories, you provide a lasting gift to both your friends and family. It is a way to speak to your loved ones from beyond the grave and to provide them with comfort and support when you can no longer be there for them.
Today we are witnessing the first generation of people that is placing a large portion of their lives in a digital atmosphere. If you are on even one social media site, you are already creating a digital legacy for yourself every day.
Recording your memories can also be a way to give yourself peace of mind that your last word doesn’t have to be your last word. A video or audio recording gives you a way to remain a positive, loving influence in the lives of your loved ones.
You may find the experience therapeutic as you peruse through your own family history. And it may also give your loved ones the ability to remember events after memory loss or to use the material to write obituaries for family members when the time comes.
Digital Legacies Create Great Memories About Your Life
If you want to be remembered, a digital legacy is the way to do it. Your life is your story to tell. And when you create an audio or video recording, you get to tell your story your way… the way you want to be remembered and not how others may interpret your life. You get to be remembered for your fully loving, living, and vibrant self rather than someone who is slowly giving in to a debilitating illness. You can take the opportunity to be remembered as you were before.
When you write your memories, you may feel tied down to the writing process. And you may find it difficult to use the right words. But when you record your fondest memories and thoughts, you can use emotion and expression to tell your story. You can infuse your own personality into the telling of your story—beyond just words. And when you’re done, you will have created a legacy to pass on to your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and more.
When creating a digital legacy, you may want to consider the following ways to preserve your legacy. In fact, you may already be doing them!
- Post on social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Create your own blog or website
- Maintain a presence in online communities
- Store your data online: photos and videos, family tree, scanned documents, etc.
- Add seller’s accounts on Amazon, eBay or Etsy
How to Get Started
Ready to create your legacy? You don’t have to start from the beginning (when you were born). You can start from today, or just write down memories as they come to you. Here are several options to get you started.
Organize and label photos. Today, all of our photos live on our phone and our desktop or laptop computer. But most families still have boxes of photos, scrapbooks or photo albums sitting around. Gather all of those old photos and start organizing them. If family members have additional photos, ask to borrow their photos so you can make copies of them. Take the time to find out who is in each photo and estimate when and where the photo was taken. If you’re lucky, some of those old photos may have time stamps on them. Then be sure to store all original photos in archival, acid-free containers and wrapping. (Try to avoid writing on the back of your photos. If you need to, opt for a pen with acid-free ink.)
Keep a diary or journal. It’s a good idea to tart keeping a written record of your daily life now. You don’t have to cover every detail, but certainly write the important things that are worth retelling. You may have a very busy life and wonder how you can fit this in. If you don’t have the time to sit down each day, at least plan to make weekly entries. Your memory journal can serve as a prompt to retell your stories later on through audio or video recordings.
Collect memorabilia. Awards, certificates, restaurant menus, articles, recipes, scrapbooks, and other mementos can be great keepsakes. These items can also help you retell your story. Anything that helps evoke memories of you and your loved ones as well as interests, hobbies, and more can all be treasured items that you may want to store in a keepsake box or book. Future generations will be able to enjoy these items as well. You may also want to take photographs of these items and store them digitally in case the original objects are ever lost, damaged or destroyed.
Record an oral history. Preserve your voice and the voice of your loved ones for future generations to hear and to treasure. Imagine if you could hear the voice of your great -great grandparents speaking to you! What would they say? What could you apply to your own life? Recording the voices of those family members alive today can help strengthen the bond between your family today and future generations.
Make a video. Whether it’s a holiday, family visit, family traditions, a vacation or a day trip, take out your phone or video camera and record. Don’t worry about capturing every moment. Just capturing a few minutes of video is enough to provide a memory, while you are still able to enjoy the company of your family members, create special memories, and live the special moments through your eyes rather than your phone. Your videos can later be transferred to a DVD or other future technology so that they can be preserved for posterity.
Having Difficulty Remembering?
Sometimes our memory gets fuzzy as we get older. Or you may have some memories that get mixed up with each other. That’s normal. When you’re not sure of the circumstances surrounding the milestones of your life, you may want to talk to others and find out what they remember. You can also find photos, mementos, and other objects that can help spark your memory. Another option to help jog your memory is to look back at newspaper clippings and magazines from the time period at your local library.
Whatever you do, enjoy your trip down memory lane while creating a digital legacy for your family!