I’ve been wondering all day about the extent to which today’s blogs will be part of our legacies, like diaries of the past.
All this was sparked by reading a very thought-provoking entry for September 2, 1914 in the diary of nineteen year-old American woman, Helena Muffly which is being so beautifully reproduced by her grand-daughter, Sheryl, on one of my very favourite blogs: A Hundred Years Ago .
19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today
Wednesday, September 2, 1914: It need not be recorded for there is nothing important to write.
I read this diary entry early this morning and remembered how I used to write similar sorts of things in my diaries as a teenager, though maybe not quite so ‘negatively,’ if that’s the word. I have endless diary entries that say:
Wet. Stayed in all day.
It seems to me that there is one key question surrounding all this:
As bloggers, do we seek out things to write about and thus are our senses far more heightened than they might otherwise be?
I’m a person who still keeps private journals as well as this blog. I don’t think I would post the the sorts of diary entries I have highlighted above in a blog post (though I may try it sometime!).
Having read Helena’s entry this morning, I kept finding the smallest things which seemed worthy of reporting. One was my sense of satisfaction at finally managing to take a respectable photograph (by my standards) of Fuschia which grows with such abundance in Ireland at this time of year. As someone with a mad passion for earrings, I always see Fuschia as being like nature’s most delightful hanging earrings:
Do you think your blog will be part of your legacy after your gone? Would you even want it to be?
39 thoughts on “Our Blogs as our Legacies?”
I’ve never really thought about it to be honest.
Val, good to hear from you. Must say I hadn’t given it much thought until very recently.
I’ve thought about it – actually fairly often. If my kids are interested in what I think/thought, I’ve pretty much laid it out for them in my blog. For better or for worse, now that I think about it again. 🙂
Jan, thanks for writing. I’m glad to meet someone who has thought about it and I’m sure your blog would be of great interest to your children ~ even if like my ‘child’ there is no great evidence of interest now!
I wrote about this the other day, though from a slightly different angle, considering the impact technology is having on what we do … and thus what we no longer do very often, simply pick up a pen and write. The old letters and notes that we keep, find or are handed down will now be digital with no ‘feel’ of the hand that wrote them. On the other side, of course, those who do write blogs may open a deeper side of themselves than might have been preserved otherwise. But whatever we write is now ‘out there’… and like it or not will remain a legacy for, one imagines, some time to come.
Hi Sue, yes I totally agree that we are losing the ‘feel’ of the hand that wrote letters and notes etc and there is something really special about having that.
Interesting point about whether or not people who write blogs open up more than might have been preserved otherwise. I suspect a lot depends on whether the bloggers are private journal keepers too.
Different parts of our lives make the different types of page, I imagine, but blogging gives insights into how the mind works, and possibly how we see ourselves in the world, as well as the glimpses into the more private parts of the mind.
Yes, I think that blogging certainly gives insights into how the mind works ~ though there’s always that matter of not knowing how much the writer is consciously/subconsciously presenting him/herself in a light that may be rather different from how they ‘really’ are.
I know I sometimes use blogging as a way to haul myself into more ‘civil’ humour!
Yes.. you wonder sometimes how much the written persona is the writer creating what they woould wish to be, and how much they are perhaps teaching or fooling themselves. Fascinating theough… and especially when you are a writer too and see the same principles reflecting yourself.
How interesting it would be to be able to learn the extent to which the writer’s and the readers’ views of the person behind the blog converge.
It would, wouldn’t it ? We’d probably all get some surprises… and not always pleasant ones, no doubt! 🙂
More than lots of surprises, I’d say!!!
Yes I do think about this on occasions. However I think my blog is my life on a page, observed (even though at times I let my guard down perhaps too far). Just as what we see posted on social media is not really a true reflection of someones life, my blog is not 100% truth as I know you are reading, on some level I do know that.
My true life reflections are upstairs in my diary!
Interesting thought. I’ll probably be awake tonight thinking of this.:)
Love the look of your blog. Is this new or have I just been blinded by reading. I especially love the images of Waterford
Hi Tric, I’m certainly with you about the balance between the diaries and the blog. (Hope you weren’t awake too long last night thinking about it all!).
Thanks for your kind words about the blog. No, it’s not new and actually I’m thinking about an Autumnal make-over for it, when time permits.
Not awake too long at all actually!
I am in shock. I was really taken by your actual site last night. I cannot believe I’ve been reading away at your posts and not looking around me. It’s lovely.
I hope others do that on my blog. 🙂
Oh you’re rocking me with your compliments! Thank you.
I know I spend far more time focussing on content in a blog than its appearance, especially if I follow by email. It’s really only when I ‘meet’ a new blog that the appearance strikes me at all!
These are good questions you ask. I sometimes wonder about this too, especially as my blog includes some of my family history. My problem is I am rather cautious about how much I include in my blog, so my kids will only get part of the story. But hopefully that is a lot better than nothing!
Hi Chris, many thanks for writing. I think the point about being cautious is very valid. It can be so difficult to know where to draw the line.
I would like it to live on because it is the real me!
Hi Willow, you sound very definite and I hope for your sake that your blog does live on.
Thank you, I would like to think it would too!
You’re more than welcome!
Jean, some of my blog is autobiographic, especially the dog letters. A legacy? A leg up maybe, but at least a foot in the door. Some folks, albeit not a huge crowd, like some of my blog posts. Will any of it outlive me? iI any of my grandchildren read it, all is not lost. rock on chilluns, rock on!
Hey Van, I’m sure that your grandchildren and their children will love it and learn huge amounts from your blog ~ also get plenty of laughs!
I do. And absolutely. 🙂
Eric, this is the most definite response so far. It’s great that you have thought about it and are so certain.
Thank you for the kind words about A Hundred Years Ago. It was a wonderful surprise when I clicked on your blog today and discovered that my grandmother’s diary entry provided the starting point for this post.
I always worry about the possibility that A Hundred Years Ago could vanish from the web at some point in the future–and think that I probably need to sytematically back it up using multiple formats.
My pleasure entirely, Sheryl. I certainly hope that A Hundred Years Ago will live on and on. It really is a fantastic blog in terms of giving us insight into Helena but also about the time ~ through your dedicated research.
Interesting question, Jean. And not something I had considered until I embarked upon my ‘365 things I am grateful for’. After a while, I noticed that it was beginning to look like a visual autobiography of sorts. (Which was never the intention.) But to answer your question, yes, I suppose they will. Lovely photo, by the way.
Hi David, I agree that your ‘365 things I am grateful for’ seems pretty autobiographical and it would certainly seem like a great resource for your kids (and theirs) to be sure what you appreciated in the world. It’s a great series.
I also enjoy Sheryl’s blog and I never thought of my blog as a legacy. I do try to post photos that show nature as it changes over the seasons. So I guess I think of my blog as a nature calendar 🙂 Judy
CT, interesting about the ‘nature calendar’ idea. That resonates very much with me, I must say.
But your love of nature is surely one very important aspect of YOU, the person, which could well be of huge interest to your descendants especially.
I’m not sure that it would be an enduring legacy. Unless somebody takes over one’s blog to keep it up-and-running after we’re gone, the internet “spiders” will quickly move on to pastures new. My old blog on blogger now officially gets zero to one visitors a week, five years after my last post.
Sarah, thanks for writing and I agree about ‘abandoned’ blogs. However, unless someone actually takes it down, it would be there for all to see in the event of you passing on. I don’t know if there’s any limit for how long these things are likely to stay online. Maybe no one knows as the Internet is so new, relatively speaking.
I was wondering about same thing today…thus I don’t have an answer, as my blog is wordless :). I really like and enjoy her concept as after 100 years we are able to read things of an existence..one century ago.
Dana, good to hear from you. I think photographs are very powerful as a legacy ~ especially as I’m fortunate enough to have thousands here taken by my late father.
Yes, Sheryl’s blog is wonderful in the way it is so faithful to the 100 year-old diary,
I love this post – really interesting thought, especially as I read an article yesterday about how we don’t have the same rights about our electronic property as our physical property, so, for example, if we ‘own’ ebooks we don’t actually ‘own’ them, they’re just licensed to us for our use so we couldn’t pass them down. It’s obviously a new area of law which will no doubt change over the coming years. But legalities aside, I suppose my blog is part of my legacy, since it’s all writing I’ve sent out into the world.
Andrea, thanks for writing.
That’s very interesting about the ebook ‘ownership’ situation. Sounds like change will be on the way pretty soon.