Electric Memories - Karen King
I read this article in the Daily Mail not long ago about the skills that are being lost forever because of modern technology, everyday things such as writing a letter, printing photos and sending postcard as well as skills like reading a map.
We know about the early Saxons and life in the middle ages from written records such as the writings of Bebe or the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles.
Letters, records and photographs tell us about the World Wars and other historical events. Even in our own families, letters, diaries and photographs help us learn about our ancestors and are invaluable when we're tracing our family tree. But I have to admit that it's a long time since I wrote a letter, filled in a diary or printed out family photographs to put in an album. My photographs are on line, many on Facebook to share with other family members, I email instead of write letters.
However, computers are constantly upgraded and old software doesn't always work on them. I have many manuscript files that have corrupted on discs or are in a format I can no longer read. So when my descendants want to trace their family history what will they find out about me and my family? If only electrical evidence is left will they be able to access it? On an even wider scale, many records are now on line whilst paper records are increasingly destroyed or lost. Will historians of the future be able to access them? If all our memories are electrical will they at some point be lost? What memories are we leaving for future generations?