I was recently walking with two 11-year-old girls as they were about to say goodbye to each other for the summer. One lives in Maine, the other in Ohio. They’re best friends, and every summer they spend a month together on an island off the coast of Maine. As they walked together - for the very last time this year. I asked how they planned to stay in touch. They both uttered, “texts.” I thought that was so sad. I recalled my summer days and the friends I met at camp and how we used to write each other letters. I suggested to these girls that they should try writing to each other - one day they won’t have those text messages to open up and re-read. I’m not sure they understood what I was talking about – but it was worth a try.
My father is a historian, and we often discuss what this generation will have to remember their lifetime by. Will they have love letters and photo albums? Or will their memories be in a chip somewhere? Can social media preserve the memories we are making today for ourselves and future generations? By the way, my historian dad is on Facebook. He recently posted a great photo of himself fencing. I printed a copy so I can hold on to it forever.
So, to my friend Jim and the rest of you who are avoiding social media, kudos to you! I’m addicted and will likely never break the habit. For myself and others like me, let’s try to remember to capture some memories in ways that we can preserve them. Write a letter every now and then. Make a photo album (the kind you can pick up) of memories you want to cherish. But most importantly, reach out to friends and family for face to face contact. If you must, go ahead and post the photos of your time together on Facebook – then make hard copies to treasure forever.