Saturday, May 10, 2008

From 16 mm to blogrolls...!

My mother-in-law was in town for a week, so she & Tom went through buckets of slides from their life together--Judy threw out a couple dozen that were dupes or blurry--one that was a shot of someone's derrière (good decision on that one), and it reminded me of Square America, where photos of complete strangers (many in 126 square format) reveal people's thrown-away memories.

Today I was remembering my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, where they were surprised by a video compilation of all the 8 & 16 mm films from their married life together. The presentation was moving: images they had not seen in decades animated the screen; all the eyes in the room were wet as the credits rolled.

Now, thousands of photos and digital videos have been taken of my children, available instantly for their entertainment. Logan pops in a DVD on his 1st birthday, and we see my beloved late grandpa there, smiling, carrying flowers in, greeting his great grandson.

How is someone's personal perception affected by these reflections of self?

My sister, second born, has oft bemoaned the unbalanced photo piles of her childhood compared to mine. I was firstborn grandchild, firstborn child. Life became more & more complicated as it continued for my parents, and now that I am the mother of two, I can see how much more difficult it is to stay on top of the books for two children. When I had one I had his nap times to enjoy solitude, and it was quite easy to spread out his journals for creative entries. Now I have a large pile of flat souvenirs to add to both of their books...it's been nearly a year since I've really written to my children in their personal books--in fact, it's a priority for the month of May (that, and to get a new set of studio pics made).

So, will there be children in 15 years who are upset that their lives were blogged & facebooked, myspaced and ninged? Or will there be children in 15 years who are upset that their lives were not?

This rising generation! Who can tell what all of this media exposure and publication will possibly do to form their concept of self...! If children of the 80's were dubbed the "Me Generation," what do we call those born in the turn of the 21st Century? The Digital Generation?

Personally, I love looking back at photos of my childhood--I appreciate being reminded of the good times (who takes photos of alcoholism? who takes pictures of loss?). I wonder how I might cocoon myself into a sad misunderstanding of my past without those posed family moments, the goofy faces, the hugging cousins, the beautiful farm that remind me to reframe all memories within an authentic context? Divorce & alcoholism can severely alter context.

Only time will tell how these DigiKids will fare, but I am certain there will be a monumental effect on SELF-IMAGE.

"Why didn't you blog, Mom?"

"How embarrassing! Why did you blog all that, Mom!?"



But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. [Luke 2:19 New International Version (NIV) © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society]

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