What I’m Leaving Behind

The other day as I was reaching to change from radio to cd in the mini-van, I had a thought that was very strange for me: I need to download some songs for my iPod to listen to in the van. Yes, you read that right; the thought of me putting songs on an iPod, something people regularly do every day and for the last few years, is strange.

Almost immediately after I had that thought, I thought of a post I wrote a while backĀ bemoaning the loss of my handwriting as a result of using the computer. I admitted that I tend to reluctantly accept technology, mostly as a result of my incompetence. But as I thought through the similarities between my not wanting to use an iPod and not wanting to give up my handwriting, I realized there is something else going on that scares me for some reason.

I’m afraid I’ll have nothing to leave behind.

Yes, a morbid thought, I know, but I can’t help but wonder what my grandchildren will learn about me when I’m gone when all they have are computer gadgets as a source.

I love seeing old records and the album covers that go with them. Are they tattered or in pristine condition? Can I guess the kind of music simply from the cover? If anyone were to see my old cd cases, one would notice many with cracks or the door pulled off of them–I didn’t take very good care of my cds. If one were to look at the mess of cds my husband has, one would realize how important music is to him and how neatness is not his virtue. But that person would get a false sense of who we are–those collections stopped years ago as we brought in new technology.

As our collections age, they develop character, and what we own and how we display it tells the story of our character. Yet, I worry that over time, I will have less and less of my story to show.

I have no desire to buy a Kindle or an iPad. I want to hold books in my hand, feel their spines, smell the distinct smell of their pages. And I want to leave behind a massive collection that shows my passions, my curiosities at the world–not an iPad where one would have to look at the Recent list to see what I had last read (or however that works).

I like the idea of photos in albums but reluctantly gave in to the idea of photobooks. My children won’t have the experience of taking out photos and turning them over to see what their mother wrote on the back. Yes, they’ll see what caption I typed, and, now, they’ll actually have some proof of their existence as children since I wasn’t doing too well at printing photos, but they’ll also miss something that only an old photo can bring.

As I stated before, I don’t naturally understand technology–I’ve had to call my husband at work before because I couldn’t figure out how to play a movie for the kids (I never had problems using a VCR, by the way), so I know my fear influences many of my decisions. And I know that I never bought tons of cds in the past, being content to listen to the radio, so having long lists of songs on an iPod doesn’t fit my character, either. Yet, there is still that part of me that wants to hold on to the old ways, afraid of what I’m going to leave behind…

…or not.

Has anyone else ever had thoughts like these, or am I just a weirdo? What things of the past do you bemoan losing to new technology? Does anyone else think it’s time for Matt to take me on a date?–I’m depressing the heck out of myself, lately! šŸ™‚