is for Digital Legacy in the A to Z of Tools for Legacy
Once Sewing and and Household Skills Defined Women
Embroidery samplers created by young ladies to showcase their skill with a needle and thread, as well as appreciation of home and their piety, are often the only medium for their words to echo on after a life is over.
Literacy had to come to be, not common but not the exception, for the average women, and writing supplies had as yet to be priced such that common people could afford paper, ink and the time needed for writing.
It is easy to forget that mass communication is a recent development. Histories were carefully composed and facts sculpted for them for centuries. The information that fed and fueled our society and informed our actions and decisions was closely controlled by very small numbers of individuals until but a historical heartbeat ago.
Newspapers and other periodicals increased the amount of information regularly added to our knowledge base at an unheard of rate in the last 150 to 200 years. Propriety shaped much of the content of these publications and filters were everywhere.
Now Women Define Themselves Through Digital Communication
In the last 15 to 20 years personal publishing developed in both print and electronic forms. Digital information transmission and storage allowed for the generation and consumption of data at a scale unimagined even a decade ago. The size of the dark web of criminal and underworld activity and deep web of information behind firewalls is unknown, but what is available on the open, indexed web is, by itself is creating not only more accessible information than ever before, but is of a type never previously collected: the bits and pieces of women’s lives that are creating the first level of a wide-reaching women’s history. The legacy we are writing is not only unique, it is expanding into a new niche.
As some of the women who are creating this new cultural information, we have tremendous influence over the very nature of this new thing we are building and the trajectories that will be built upon beyond our lifetimes. This new type and level of influence over communication is fortuitous as several constants of the physical world and humanity’s place on that world for the last many centuries are morphing in unpredictable fashion.
So whether you blog, post on Facebook, or tell the stories of your family history on a website, you are creating more complete information for others than ever before and with a small amount of effort you can organize, store, and disseminate that information digitally and in print in ways that would amaze our ancestors and will please our descendants.
We may not be able to anticipate what the future will be, but we have opportunity to influence the changes that are transpiring with an openness and a balance that has not been available to us for millennia, if ever.
Letter D Digital Records Tools for Legacy projects