Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Do you document your life?

Asked by wundayatta (58354 points ) July 19th, 2012

How? For whom?

I am often amused when a friend of a friend places photos of his latest culinary effort on Facebook. It’s a kind of instructional thing and a document of his self-satisfaction, as if somehow the community offering of the one offsets the narcissism of the other.

Do other people you know document their lives? How? For whom?

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25 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You know those daytimer weekly calendars? I have 15 years of those, especially my vacations. I write down all kinds of memories.

Symbeline's avatar

I don’t do that. What am I supposed to document? That I bought a new TV, got a new game, discovered a cool new horror movie, update every single work and weekend day, give detailed accounts about the last shit I took, tell you guys what shoes or piece of clothing I just got?
If I become a super hero or something, then maybe.
I’m glad telling people who want to hear about certain things that happen to me, good or bad, but no way do I make it a point to specifically catalog and document anything. What am I, Jesus Christ?

Like @Adirondackwannabe above me, I also keep a type of diary, but it’s really random and personal, and three quarters of it are drawings of me with plungers for arms, anyways.

Pandora's avatar

I actually wish a lot of the older generation would do that. There is always that relative that has that one recipe you love but neither of you have the time to get together and really learn how to make it. So they pass away and all those left behind have no clue as to why their food doesn’t taste like so and so.
But really. What else can you put on face book. If you’re into cooking or eating. Than why not. I know plenty of people who put pictures of a meal they found to be delicious and it leads me to experiment with my meals. I’m not into talking about the latest boy band wonder.
Nor do I really like to get into politics or my really personal business. Food is an easier topic.
Maybe they aren’t narcissist but wish people they know would learn how to make what they make instead of always asking them to cook it for them.

zenvelo's avatar

No, not really.. I am usually the one taking pictures. My ex, despite being a photography fanatic, rarely took pictures of me. I have very very few of myself.

And I might mention an exceptional meal to friends, but other than that I don’t keep it handy or organized.

Kardamom's avatar

@wundayatta I’m one of those people who document my culinary creations on Facebook. That is because most of my friends and relatives (and I do mean friends in the real sense, so my list of friends is quite limited compared to most people’s) are also food enthusiasts like myself. Whenever I go to a new restaurant that I think people will like, I post a photo and a mini-review of the restaurant. Whenever I cook something that I think turned out great, I post a photo and the recipe and any tips that I think might be useful. So far, everyone has been very pleased. Most of the people on my “friends” list do the same thing, some more often than others. It think it’s great. I’ve been very inspired to cook certain things or try out certain restaurants because of postings from my friends.

I am also the official family photographer. Everyone tells me they love it, so they don’t have to spend all of their time taking photos, but they can still have mine. I do not take photos of people who don’t want their picture taken. I get that some people are very un-comfortable with being photographed so I respect that.

Also, I only share photos with the actual people that are in them, or with their relatives, and only with permission. I’m not one of those people who shares all of my photos with everyone on my list. I use that little privacy gear button all the time.

cookieman's avatar

Yes, inadvertently.

Part of me always wanted to keep a diary or write stories about my life. I tried Facebook too. In all cases, I soon thought, “Well really, who the fuck am I?” So I didn’t journal, and I didn’t write, and I didn’t share.

Then it dawned on me — Fluther.

I realized I have been documenting my life. Answer by answer. And not only my life, but my thoughts, troubles, opinions… even a little humor.

So I figure, one of these days, I’ll go through all my answers, and copy/paste them into some kind of document.

I’ll save it, back it up even – and someday (after I’m gone), someone will find it – maybe even read it and think, “Well really, who the fuck was this guy?”

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

A departed uncle did this in journals. A couple of years ago, our aunt (his wife) passed away, and they were discovered when the belongings were being divvied up by family members. My BIL (no relation to the uncle) took them. He was fascinated by reading through the entries, as if it was opening a time capsule to the past.

The SO and I started a blog together that chronicled how we met and the relationship developed. I did it because friends were clamoring for the details of what they considered a modern day fairy tale. The SO participated because he said that we would someday forget the details as our memories got spotty, and it would be a good reference in the future.

I suspect that there are several reasons why people do this. Input would be the main one. It’s the same theory around why people become hoarders; it just takes on a different format. In this case, it is information instead of belongings.

Both the SO and I have taken an assessment that showed that Input was at the top of our list. It all boils down to this: no matter what it is we collect, it may come in handy someday. If not to us, it could possibly to someone else. There is a deep satisfaction when someone else desires the tangible or intangible item that we possess and can share it, or it comes in handy for our own needs.

Bellatrix's avatar

No. I don’t think my daily doings are so interesting anyone else would want to hear about them. I would like to be more diligent about keeping a journal of my thoughts and feelings about events/people in my life. I regret not doing this in the past because I look at old photos and go “who the heck was that?” or I try to remember the name of a colleague from my first job and can’t. I am hoping those memories may return to me in old age! So, I can see why it is valuable. I have a few ideas about blogs I would like to write too. They revolve more about visits to places or things that interest me rather than being about me.

I also totally agree with @Pandora. I wish fervently that my mother, father, grandmother etc. had been diarists. They have all died and they died when I was too young to realise how much I would want to know about their pasts. So I have no stories about their lives or of their thoughts. I so wish they had kept journals. We should encourage our oldies to keep even an audio diary of their memories for those who want to look back and learn about them in the future. I don’t know that I would want them to have kept a FB type record though. Some people post the most mundane crap.

AshLeigh's avatar

I take a lot of pictures. I’m passionate about photography.
But it’s not like I take pictures of every meal I have, and every person I see. XD

Sunny2's avatar

Like @Adirondackwannabe, I’ve kept all my daily planner book , plus I’ve written notes about trips I’ve taken, so I’d remember the details. The trouble is that when I read about trips from 20 years ago, it does not jog my memory as I hoped it would. My daughter asked me not to throw them out, so I won’t. . .but she’s not going to get much our of them as far as I can see.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

I am fairly disorganized in how I use my spare time, so I don’t really document much. I always thought about keeping a diary/journal (after all, we live in very interesting times, and I suspect things are going to change VERY fast pretty soon, and we’ll be looking back at the late 20th/early 21st century with a lot of mixed feelings…). But I don’t have the self-discipline to do it daily. I did blog for a while, but I was very random a lot of times in the topics I discussed.

I do “document” two things: photos and books. I’m going through all our pictures now, and labeling them on the back with the actual/approximate date and who’s in the pictures. This partly stems from my training in a previous life as a historian, and partly due to my grandmother. Years ago, before she died, we helped her go through her pictures to re-organize them, and we ended up throwing out a LOT of old pictures, because she didn’t know who they were or had forgotten the people in the pictures. I’m doing it for my pictures now, so I can enjoy them while I’m alive, and whoever ends up with them after I’m gone can decide what to keep and what to toss, with far more certainty that we did with my grandmother’s pictures.

I also started keeping track about a year or two ago, via an online site, the books I read. This helps me not only to keep track of the books I’ve read, but I’ve always been curious how many books I’ve read over the years. I’m behind by a few decades now, but at least going forward, I can keep track. It’s been interesting seeing how diverse my reading choices are.

YARNLADY's avatar

I used to take pictures of every important event of my life, but I got tired and quit doing it.

rooeytoo's avatar

My laptop is how I document my life, it actually is like my life in a beautifully styled brushed aluminum case. But it has a password and only a few people can get in.

bookish1's avatar

Like @cprevite, I have been documenting a good deal of my life, perspectives, and past experiences on Fluther.

I’ve never been good about keeping a regular journal or diary. Even when I’m traveling, I always intend to do so and then get lazy about it.

However, since about the age of 13 I have been documenting my craziness and solitary thoughts in poems and short stories. Only a few of them are good and worth showing other people, haha, but it’s a useful outlet for me.

augustlan's avatar

I kept a diary as a teenager, but tossed it long ago to get rid of the incriminating evidence. ;)

These days, Fluther is about the best documentation I have. I use Facebook, but don’t post a whole lot about my day to day life on it.

downtide's avatar

I used to keep a blog for several years, but I found that my life got so busy and interesting that while I had plenty of material to put in it, I seldom had the time. And of course when I have the time, I’ve nothing to post.

I regret not keeping a blog documenting my transition, but I figure that a year on, it’s probably too late to start now.

flutherother's avatar

I keep a daily diary and I usually take photographs when I visit anywhere new. I wish my grandfather had kept a diary. It would be fascinating to read.

ucme's avatar

Other than in photographic form, the kids growing up & such, that’s a big fat no.

wundayatta's avatar

I have a record of household finances going back some twenty to twenty-five years. Every expense I made and who I paid it to and what it was for is documented. I also have all my bills. I think this is actually a more complete diary than anything I might have written. It tells the story of daily life, as I lived it.

I have every letter and email I’ve written for the last forty years or so, and some from even further back. I also have fluther and Askville and other places I have written about things.

Another interesting documentation is my various collections of things. I have pebble collections that document beaches and rock fields I have visited. I have artwork collected in specific places. I have books, some of which are signed by authors. Even furniture and other objets document memories. Of course, for many of those memories, I have to be around to translate what they tell us. Like my first bicycle, which I bought in 1971 and only retired when I ran into a dog and the frame cracked in 2009 or so. Lot of history regarding that bike that comes out when I think about it. Trips I’ve taken. Repairs I’ve made. Places I’ve lived with it.

rooeytoo's avatar

@wundayatta – that is lovely, sort of like useable memories. I too collect interesting rocks and pebbles, but I have no idea, in most cases, of which came from where. How do you mark them?

Kardamom's avatar

@rooeytoo I too, collect rocks from places that I have been, and I can never remember exactly where I got them from, but I’ve displayed them in little mini zen gardens. Instead of flowers around my house, I’ve got rocks LOL.

My brother and SIL have collected sand and earth from most of the places they traveled to and they found these lovely little clear glass bottles with corks in them (maybe about 5 inches tall) and they put labels on them, saying where the sand was from. They got about 20 of them and they’re lined up in front of books in their book case. They make a very pretty display, especially because the sand and dirt was of many different colors.

rooeytoo's avatar

That’s a neat idea @Kardamom – little zen gardens, good one!!!

wundayatta's avatar

I keep them in different dishes, although without labels. Some are easy to remember, like the garnets. They came from Ubergurgl in Austria. The Jaspar came from the Cape of Gaspe. The lighter colored pebbles came from Cape May or Cape Cod or Nantucket. It doesn’t so much matter where, since they bring back memories of all of those beach visits.

I actually use one set of stones for an exercise in understanding science. My sorting and quantifying exercise. It’s kind of cool.

Shippy's avatar

I had this ghastly thought when I read this question. Masses of people placing photos, descriptions for all occasions, all over face book and guess what no body reads it, no body looks at it or even gives a shit.

Its like we are all so engrossed in our “page” do we even have time to look at others pages? Probably only family look? I also have friends that do similar things like that; they post every task they do work related or personal, until it becomes a boring blur of tediousness.

No body realizes yet, that nobody is looking, or cares, because setting up that time line is a pain in the neck for starters. Too many hours and for what, and really, do I want to document my life? And for who? I have taken my face book down for that very reason. I guess like everything in life face book has had its time and one day someone will realize that only they look at their photos and notes and comments and so on. I find it quite heartbreaking really;

rooeytoo's avatar

Facebook is such an interesting phenomenon, for something so inane it is so polarizing. I personally enjoy it. I post things that I think my friends will be interested in. And judging by the response, some always are. And I enjoy seeing what they are up to as well. It is also a good way to stay in touch with family spread out all over the countryside.

And if I post something and no one responds, well I still had the fun of posting it for myself!

So yes, I document a certain part of my life there too. And a blog which no one has to read if they don’t want.

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