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Thread: What data should we keep?

  1. #1
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    What data should we keep?

    Pocket randomly suggested this article to me and it got me thinking. As the article mentions, I'm one of the people that takes 1000's of photos every year including dozens (hundreds?) of my cats both past and present. Will anyone really care after I, and they, are dead? Probably not. Will it help if I curate my collection of photos down to the few that are the best. Still probably not. I don't have children and I'm not likely to become famous so there are few, if any, people who will care about me or my history after I'm gone.

    Of course to take that thought further, will anyone care about the few pictures I have of my parents from their youth? I prize them because I only have a few so they sit on a shelf where I can look at them whenever I want to. Once I am dead there won't be anyone left to care about these strangers from long ago. Assuming that I still have them when I die, which is hopefully decades in the future, I expect that whoever deals with getting rid of my stuff will probably toss them in the trash because they no longer matter to anyone still alive. Is deleting a mass archive of thousands of digital photos and other electronic stuff really any different?

    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2...-being-deleted

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    I actually have the morbid thought that the next great catastrophe following Covid-19 will be a massive outage and deletion of cloud storage data. We recently bought an external HD for storing favorite digital photos. DH can spend snowy winter days filling it up and who knows if in the future such technology will even be accessible anyway. I do enjoy looking at old photos of ancestors but without children to pass on to, I doubt they are worth saving at some point.

  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I assume the thousands of images on my ICloud account will disappear some day. I just hope itís not an ďoh sh*tĒ event that comes as a surprise to me. I pay $.99 per month for storage.

    I have put a few special photos in a Pinterest file, as a backup.

    I do wonder where a few select pictures of my parents, Iím talking no more than three, should go. Seems like someone should remember them but we donít have a younger generation in my family since my brother didnít reproduce either, so I guess it all will go into the landfill. My cousin has a daughter, maybe she could get stuck with some stuff but I donít even know her so Iím not gonna stick her with much.


    Not only did my brother and I not have children, but our closest cousins didnít reproduce with one exception and he had only one child.

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    Senior Member Klunick's Avatar
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    I have a scrapbook from when it was just my husband and I. A couple photo albums from when my boys were little. After that, I uploaded photos to online places like Shutterfly and Snapfish. I should go through and start printing out that sort of stuff because when I die, the passwords die with me. We aren't a sentimental bunch in my house so we never look through old pictures but my boys may want them after my husband and I pass to show their kids one day. Will need to work on finding good photos from the past 10 years or so! Oy vey!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    Once I am dead there won't be anyone left to care about these strangers from long ago.

    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2...-being-deleted
    I have mentioned here that it gives me grief to know that I am the last keeper of my beloved aunt's memory. She was married to a CT Supreme Court judge, so there are digital pictures and obituaries of him, but she was a typical woman of the early 20th century, and has no data, print or digital to prove her existence. I keep a shadow box of a sepia photograph of her taken when she was probably about 30 years old, wearing a classic '20s hat and a broach. I happen to have the broach, and so I pinned it inside the shadow box, and it makes me feel closer to her.

    But I digress... I, too, am grappling with all the digital stuff--some good, mostly crap that I continue to preserve because I'm too undisciplined to do regular purges. So there's that. In addition, I think about what happens if the Cloud disappears. So I've given some consideration to doing an annual photobook through Snapfish or Shutterfly with just the top pictures of the year. Like a photojournal. As it is, my regular Christmas gifts to my adult kids are calendars with the best photos they've texted me of their families from that year.

    I do think any old photos have to be identified by name and labeled somehow. I'm also on Ancestry, so I do have some digital pictures attached to specific relatives in my tree. I think I must have been an archivist in another life, because I hate seeing data disappear.



    Great article. I'll probably bookmark it.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    I love your calendar idea, Catherine. Maybe I will start that tradition and do a best of the family calendar or something--I could put someone's picture on their birth month, for example.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I love your calendar idea, Catherine. Maybe I will start that tradition and do a best of the family calendar or something--I could put someone's picture on their birth month, for example.
    That's exactly what I do. I usually map the months to the prior year's picture. For instance, I make sure I have a picture of the kids playing in the snow on the January page, and swimming in the lake on the July page.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member Klunick's Avatar
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    I started looking through my uploads on my online photo sites. I have been good about uploading so printing them out shouldn't be hard. What I am finding is that the last picture I took of either of my kids is when my oldest graduated in 2019. The rest are of my two cats literally from the day we got them until a few days ago. Haha!! I guess with Covid, there were no school events to photograph for the youngest. This is his Senior year so hopefully I will have some opportunity to get some photos this year.

  9. #9
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    I often wonder why I take my genealogy so seriously. I doubt my daughter will care much about it after I'm gone. But, maybe her daughter or someone along the line later will be curious about the family like I am, wishing to make a connection to the past.

    Next month DH and I are taking a trip to the Midwest to search out family traces again. I'm drawn to one great grandfather for some reason. I want to see where he lived and speak to his gravestone. It's a strong urge I can't explain.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Klunick's Avatar
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    My impatience cost me some money. Instead of waiting until I got home to see where the pictures stopped in the photo albums, I decided to guess and ordered a bunch that I didn't think I had. Got home and looked and see that I ordered a bunch that I already had. Oh well.

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