There is a lot of controversy going on right now over the removal of Confederate statues. With that comes the topic of history and culture and whether the removals are wrong. My opinion is that if the statue is located at a government building then it should be relocated as the government should not be displaying anything that is symbolic to a particular group. If the statue is part of a historical landmark or area such as the Gettysburg Battlefield then it should be left alone.
This entry is not about the current controversy though but rather its argument about preserving history. In our modern age of social media I often wonder if people ever keep their own histories by writing anymore. I’m talking paper to pen type of writing. At minimum typing something up and printing it out. Do they develop pictures and keep them in albums, scrapbooks or even old shoe boxes? I’m certain members of older generations do. Even some within my generation, myself included, do.
What about the younger generations though? Those who have never known a world without cell phones or computers. Those who will never know the fun of finding an old roll of film and having it developed to see what pictures were taken. Those who will never experience the anguish of taking the “perfect” photo only to have it developed and turn out completely dark. Those who likely have never had a pen pal to write letters to in elementary school. What could become of their history?
We shouldn’t trust computers or the Internet to preserve our thoughts, our memories, our life. I know it’s said that nothing deleted truly ever disappears from the Internet, but should we really take that risk? Call me a doomdsay thinker if you will, but an EMP could easily wipe out our grid and with it the Internet. In that pre-Industrial Revolution world wouldn’t it be nice to have journal entries to read and pictures to remind us of what our life was like before the blast?
Write down your thoughts. Develop your pictures. Anything that you have stored on social media or a computer that you would be devastated to lose forever have it in a hard copy. While I realize disasters such as flood or fire or even simple “lost it in the move” situations can happen, you will find a greater satisfaction and deeper connection to your history if you have a physical copy of your treasured memories. The government and the people may be the ones to decide what part of and where to preserve the country’s history, but you are in charge of preserving your own for years to come.