Sunday, June 5, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Secrets

I'm a little late with this one, but here goes...

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
  • Week 22. Secrets. Describe something about yourself that won’t be found on any record 100 years from now.
Well.  This might actually be more difficult than it might seem, at first.  More and more of our lives are being recorded and stored in digital format.  Even very minute, trivial things about us are being recorded and stored.  Some of it we may not even be aware of, as the data is being collected by governments and companies, and not disclosed to us.  Sounds very conspiracy theorist, no?

Birth, death, school, medical, financial, all of our lives are being documented.  Birth certificates show when we were born, mandatory for everyone living in the United States now.  Most locales made them mandatory around the turn of the 20th century, some earlier.  Likewise, death and marriage documents.  Financial data has been hard to escape since the Income Tax was instituted.  We're currently in the transition to electronic health records, with all of our existing paper documents being scanned into databases.  I personally worked for a Technical College at which we implemented the digitization and storage of all student records. 

The more I try to think of a secret that won't show on any record in 100 years, the more difficult it becomes to identify one with any certainty.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut.  Did I ever include that in something that got recorded?  I'm not sure.  Now that I've included it here, it's automatically disqualified.  I like to shoot nature and animal pictures, but I've posted enough of those online that it's not a secret.  When I was 12 or 13, I got in a little hot water with the police once, bet that's still on file somewhere.  I sprained my ankle playing softball when I was in the Navy.  But I went to Sick Call, so that got into my medical record. 

In fact, the more I try, the more I'm reduced to things I'd rather KEEP secret, and revealing them here would definitely fall into the realm of being on record, at least now, and probably forever.