It seems that every year at least one Superbowl advertiser spends way too much money trying to make me cry. Usually it is Budweiser with the lost dog in 2015 or the baby Clydesdale in 2013. This year, it was Google with its commercial titled “Loretta.” The commercial shows a man’s search history on Google Assistant. The man searches “how not to forget” and is presented with the suggestion to repeat a detail. The man then utilizes features available through Google Assistant to sort the pictures he has saved and remember the thoughts and memories he has of his late wife, Loretta.
My thoughts and feelings on privacy aside (that is a much larger discussion), the sentiment is the same: how do we remember and honor those who are no longer with us? How can we use technology to help us in this pursuit?
Technology has changed our lives dramatically. Like it or not, a large portion of our lives are now documented in some sort of digital format. So how do we record our pre-technology lives? How do we pass on our knowledge and experiences?
Local organizations are doing what they can to help preserve personal histories. The Warhawk Air Museum’s Veteran’s History Project interviews and videotapes veterans’ stories. The museum is constantly collecting stories and has a book of past interviews titled “Voices From The Warhawk Air Museum.” The book is available in their gift shop for $15. (Here’s the link.)
Storycorps is an independently funded organization that started back in 2003 and is on a mission to tell the stories of humanity. They have been traveling the country and recording stories ever since. You can find select stories on their podcast and can record your own on their app.
Storycorps has a traveling recording studio that last stopped in the Treasure Valley in 2013. Good news is that they are headed back to Boise; they will be here from April 29 to May 29, 2020. Click here for more details and how to sign up.
Are you a better storyteller when you write things down? Storyworth is a service that asks you (or a loved one) a question once a week, to which you respond with a story. All of these stories are passed on to your relatives and then put in a keepsake book at the end of each year. Check out Storyworth here.
There are several other services that will take your stories and will bind them in a keepsake book.
Other organizations, like Treelines.com and Historylines.com, pair up your stories with a timeline and maps so you can track your family’s stories through time.
Technology has opened up so many wonderful opportunities for sharing our stories. Take advantage of these easy-to-use tools to save your stories and remember your loved ones!