Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Note or a Tweet: is Technology stealing Memories?

It was only a matter of time until my parents asked me to get my crap out of their basement. You know, the old box of high school love letters, old photos, pom pom from pep rallies, and yearbooks.

Well, their prompting only encouraged me to spend time sifting through the boxes, enjoying the trip down memory lane.  Nothing was or will ever actually be accomplished. It's my God given right to leave crap in my parent's basement.  However, I have narrowed it down to two smallish boxes.  I think my work is done.

Anyway, I got to thinking about this ritual.  I have stories of my parents' that came out in these kind of boxes. Hell, I found letters to my Grandmother, all 86 yrs of her, in her closet.  It's awesome, amazing, and very very cool to read.

That's when I started to feel sorry for my children.  I know the internet is an awesome thing and without it, I would not be here today.  But what the hell are they going to do?!

Unless our kids start printing out text messages and aging the paper with tea bags, they aren't going to have jack in their box.

And that is the change of time baby. I'm only 30 and I already see it. My kids' box is going to be an external hard drive or two. Love letters are sent in 160 characters and notes are left on iphones.

What is happening to the youth theses day!?!?!

Ok, that was a little dramatic.  I'm sure they won't miss a thing. They may even find our old notes dirty and a waste of paper.

Personally, I love all my old letters and notes. I remember opening my locker to have that little folded square of paper from my boyfriend fall out.  It was always a surprise, even if it was there daily.  Then again, that was before the readily available cell phone.

Holy crap, either technology is moving far too fast or I really am aging!

Do you still have your old letters and notes?  Do you ever feel like this generation is missing out on something?


  1. All letters from exes, grannies, mommy... as soon as I received and read them: TRASH BIN ! The e-mails and letters from my actual husband I have inserted a spiral and now it's a book. My shelves are on a pemanent diet. (Hey, was it you who despised a husband's cartoon collection ?)

  2. So true Anita! But my boxes are at my parent's and I only have 2, not 6! lol

  3. I save everything that I think is worth saving for my son, from birthday and holiday cards, to party invites, any kind of lembranca, cute drawings, progress reports from school, airline ticket stubs, cards from restaurants or attractions we've visited, etc. We're up to two boxes now, because I want him to have some things to actually hold and read. Heck, I even throw in some instruction manuals for his toys, just to keep something tangible, some proof of his first years. Let's hope mofo doesn't win out in the end. And truly, with computers it is likely that you're going to lose things at some point. In 7 years we've gone through 5 computers, my last one crashed a month ago and with it 6 months worth of photos and videos I didn't back up. Lesson learned. For me, I have one box of my past at my parent's house, just some old yearbooks and photo albums. I leave it there in the US because, as mentioned above, I am afraid they will succomb to mold here. I used to keep old love letters, silly notes from highschool girlfriends and my notebooks and essays from college, lots of stuff, but my ex tossed it all (=everything I ever had or owned) when we separated.

  4. Ha, I just did that.. I had boxes and boxes of every rose petal from every flower I ever got, folded up letters of my 15yr old gf's talking about "ohh i cant wait to go to the party at josies house and smoke it up" haha and im like wow, did I really think I was that cool?! I even found a ticket stub when I went up the world trade towers in 2000, saving that one! Ohh its so fun to go through that stuff, I am saving a lot of it.. not sure why.. I keep saying oh when my kids grow up ill show it to them, like they will really care?! This post made me think of this video I just saw the other day on another blogger's site...


    And thats basically modern day love... "x" out the box and its lost in space, and because its instant you cant even express how you feel. If it were a letter I bet they would be more apt to truly write how they felt...

  5. Luiz keeps a scrap book (he calls it a "scratch" book) that has all sorts of things from our past. He has the slip of paper on which I wrote my phone number that first morning when I left his apartment. He has theater tickets, photos, cards, pieces of ribbon, pousada receipts, everything you could imagine, and then some.

    Every once in a while he'll get in a mood, pull out the book (now I think he is in his thrid book) and bring things up to date. It's all very sweet, but I just seem to be getting heavier every year... LOL!

  6. Unfortunately for me, a snoopy mom in highschool means no love notes left unburned or unshredded...

  7. Jim- Uh oh, make it 3. I have a scrapbook box here. I never quite got it back to Brazil. Only the scrapbook itself made the trip.

    Stephanie - I'm super bad about that! I really need to save things for the boys. I save art and school stuff... Pictures (we have numerous backups )

    Jana- I doubt they'll care! It won't be a part of their way of life so they won't miss it. I should write them letters and save them... that's a good idea

    Nancy- I could totally see my Mom snooping but she was sly enough to not make me nervous lol

  8. I do, Rachel - the love letters, the letters slipped from friends, the diary, even newspaper clippings - they all go back about 30 years. You're right. In the middle of a "cold war era" shred fest I was having this summer, I found things that stopped me in my tracks - letters from grandma & a box of hankies - she used to send me one every week in a letter...Here is a post on the subject from last summer. http://valunboxed.blogspot.com/2010/08/stop-and-smell-shoe-box.html I'm a sucker for real books, real photos, and thumbing through old letters... Great post. Thank you.

  9. I still have tons of old notes. And even though my wife and I met online, technically, I have relished every written word that I have from her. Our children are not going to have long lost love letters. Probably not even long lost emails. There writings will be stored on some cold dark hard drive in the mountains and caves of Colorado somewhere only to be read by Big Brother.

  10. This is so true Rachel!

    I've got almost 7 years on ya and I can still rmemeber getting my first home computer in 1993-a $1500 Tandy 486 from Radio Shack. Signed onto the internet for the first time in 1996 via AOL and a dial up modem. OMG...how freaking OLD am I! HAHAHAHAHA

    I wouldn't say that I am a hoarder but I definitely save ALOT of my children's school work, art, letters, etc. My goal is to make them a memory box and present it to them when they graduate college. Maybe by that age they will at least care a little bit about it. lol

    My worst fear is my house burning down and losing everything. Yes..back up those hard drives! As a photographer, I can tell you this..

    It is not IF the hard drive is going to fail but WHEN! Also keep hard copies at another location just in case the worst does happen. ie fire, flood, etc.

  11. why is there mold in brazil but not in the u.s.?

  12. Humidity. It's so humid that anything and everything you store will eventually get mold. That's even if you use de-humidifiers. It's pretty hardcore

  13. I hoard ALL of this stuff. I too have boxes of it at my mom's, several at my house in Calgary, and a drawer of it here too... my nostalgic nature seems to be rubbing off on the Mr. DRL too as he now keeps such things in a drawer...

  14. I can't wait to clear out my storage in Texas this summer and go through all my old notes from school! My husband will not be party to any of them :-)