6 September 2015

I have a confession to make. I am officially old. When I started researching my own family history, I had to leave my house to do it. The internet was barely even conceived and genealogical records were certainly not digitised! Most weren’t even transcribed, let alone copied and made available at the touch of a button. Oh, how things have moved on…. I often question why I spent so long at the Family Records Centre transcribing all the BMD references for my surname study when now, they are so readily available online. I searched the Cheshunt 1851 census for half a day to find my Day family and now, they are there waiting for me online. Grrr…. But, we never knew (back then) that our hobby/pastime/obsession would become so popular in the 21st century and that so much attention would be placed on making records available to researchers online so that they could be accessed from anywhere in the world…..

Everything in life – genealogical or otherwise – is now 24/7/365. When I was a child, I had a pen friend in Hong Kong. We used to write each other letters! Remember them? I used to love receiving her handwritten letters and indeed, writing back. Now, I couldn’t tell you the last time I wrote a letter by hand. Our Christmas cards are still personal and by hand, with a typed letter enclosed updating everyone on the goings-on of the last year too – I like to write them and also receive them from friends/family.

Would you be able to work out the last day you didn’t use your mobile, tablet, laptop or PC? I would imagine most people couldn’t. We are so attached to these devices, we can barely remember a day without them! And I was one of those people in the late 1990’s saying “No, I do NOT want a mobile phone, ever”! Oh, how times have changed!

We live a very fast-paced existence now thanks to these wonders of modern technology. It makes our lives much easier in many ways, but also more challenging. You send an email and the expectation is that a reply will return swiftly from the recipient. Ever considered that they may not be at their desk quite as much as you?! They may only check their mail a few times a week but because you do so more often, you expect they do too!

The internet never sleeps but humans still need to (no personal comments please on that one!!)…. A work-life balance is important. I have learnt that recently and I am now a great advocate. DVD Sunday is sacrosanct, so I’ll say ‘A demain‘ folks.

Source image: Internet Never Sleeps

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