Keeping Old Memories Alive, Rich Paschall
Let’s face it, there are a lot of annoying things about social media. Even worse than the stupidity being spread, making us dumber by the day, is the proliferation of new games, rituals, groups, pages, chats, instasomethings, broadcast thyself and say nothing.
You Tube channels (I have 2), Google +, tweet and twitpic and twitchat, YouNow, Ustream and the list for You is growing. You can write it, sing it, chat it, pin it, post it, paste it, repost and reblog it. The glut of personal pages and activities is beyond gluttonous.
Among the millions of pages and posts lies some golden moments if only you can find them. Sometimes it is like finding a needle in a haystack, but sometimes a needle is found. Perhaps you put the golden needle there yourself, hoping others will find it. If you look hard enough, you may find gold too.
I have used Facebook, WordPress and YouTube to uncover new (or not so new) and interesting talent. In some ways, it has replaced some of my television watching, although I have uncovered more crap online than can ever make it through to broadcast television.
If you have been following along on Sundays, you will notice that I have pointed out some of the good young talent online. There are some young people doing good as I pointed out when I asked if it was A Screwed Up World? I also mentioned up and coming talent here and on Sunday Night Blog. Recently, I profiled Tom Law in Laying Down The Musical Law. So you can tell I am not completely down on the social media world.
One practice that has grown up on several social sites in recent years did not interest me at first. In fact, I thought it a rather self-indulgent way of posting your old photos for people who really did not care on a medium that is so overburden with posts few would notice anyway. This now common activity is called Throwback Thursday. Have you taken part?
The idea behind Throwback Thursday is that you post an old photo, video, article from the past, tag it with #tbt. Thus you will have made some sort of contribution to remembering something important or historical. It’s an interesting idea that has, of course, produced a lot of junk. Seriously, I do not need to see your video of you and your precious cat from 2003. It may bring tears to your eyes, but that doesn’t make it an historic document.
After this practice had gone by for a few years, I began to see the worth hidden in hashtag TBT. Items of merit were coming to light of social, historical and even personal value. Now I gladly participate.
My personal photos of my charming self at a young age may be of no value in the social media world but I have many friends and relatives on Facebook. I don’t see them often, so they may be of interest to those who knew me at nine.
We are sharing old memories through weekly postings. I’ve been amazed by the relics some folks have uncovered. Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to see old photos and videos that bring a smile to your face.
A couple of years ago I started a Facebook group for former students of Mrs. Laurette Kittler. She is a retired high school drama teacher whose instruction and guidance touched the lives of generations of students. I was proud to include myself in those who could celebrate this teacher’s work. I thought maybe, over time, I would find 100 students.
The group now has more than 200 members, most of whom have been posting pictures and bringing smiles to everyone. While many members of the group haven’t seen each other for decades, they’ve been putting up pictures others may have not seen since the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. Maybe they never saw them at all.
When the formation of this group led to a “dinner and drinks” outing, I casually mentioned that among the many pictures I have and I have seen, I have no pictures from my Senior Class play. I could have purchased them from the high school at the time, but I let it pass. It was my big regret.
During the week that followed, pictures showed up on Facebook, including one of me front and just left of center in a picture I do not think I ever saw.
Throwback Thursday has become a favorite activity. I post something and look for others to post items which will remind me of my high school days, my family and my youth. Nothing brings the past to life like seeing it. This is the value of #tbt.
My departed mother took a camera to many things in her life. In the 70’s and 80’s there is no telling how many rolls of 110 and 126 film she went through. Some months after she was gone, I sent many hundreds of pictures to my brother. I have thousands remaining.
Nowadays, I have a use for these photographs — every Thursday.