I’m sure you’ve heard about social networking. It’s the latest innovation for people to communicate electronically via the Internet. Not just for the younger generation, but any one of any age with some technology experience can learn to email, text, Twitter or IM-instant messages on computers and other devices. Amazingly from your cell phone you can post texts and photos online, IF you’re interested; but what does this have to do with publishing your family history?
Through these sites tidbits of family history can be shared. It’s a way to make connections between the generations. Although I prefer plain old talking face to face, that isn’t always possible in our day and age of family and friends living so far away from each other, so I joined Facebook, and Twitter to make connections.
Through Facebook I’ve discovered a way to get the attention of my children and grandchildren plus opportunities to try to interest them in learning more about their family history. Posting photos from the past can peak their interest in earlier days. I’ve found that as I’ve shown interest in their lives, there are opportunities and teaching moments to share experiences with them about their immediate family as well as ancestors.
On Facebook there is a wall to post status comments on your activities, and photo albums where you can store images to share with others. I like to post historic photos from my life or other relatives and give further details. I call it publishing online a mini family history. New aps or applications are being developed to help further family history on this and other sites.
Twitter is different in that it is limited to 140 characters, short brief comments that can challenge you to condense what you want to say. All of these sites can be accessed from your cell phone. What is the world coming to? It’s changing quickly but there are ways to use this new technology to connect with younger family members and interest them in your common roots and history.
I was hesitant at first to get on Facebook or Twitter as it seemed quite childish and does feature some cutesy games and applications. But when I realized I could connect my own grown children and grandchildren who have joined these popular sites, I jumped aboard. It helps me keep in better contact with what is going on in their lives for those who participate. It gives me the opportunity to comment on their accomplishments, send greetings, ask questions and just generally stay in contact. It’s another means of publishing online.