Duncan: A selfie legacy

Megan Duncan

Megan Duncan - Photo by herself

Pictured and captioned on Facebook was a three-year-old standing with his arms crossed in defiance of bedtime. 

“Connor says he is going to stay up all night and eat cookies. He is so funny. Bedtime is still at 7:30.” 

Considering the many stories and pictures I post about my boys on social media, I wonder what it would have been like if my mom could post about my life when I was a kid. I think the following is a good representation of what my mom would have said in 1981. 

“Here is a video of Meg’s three-year-old dance recital. She is the one who got stuck in the curtain at the end. You can also see her tap shoe flying off around the middle of the song, but a nice man from the front row brought it back to me and threatened a lawsuit. We have encouraged Meg to find another activity, maybe one that isn’t on stage where people can see her and know she is our child.”

Aww, Facebook. My love/hate relationship with it runs deep. Just like anything else, it has good and bad elements, but one thing is certain: social media is here to stay. 

Maybe I am wrong, but publicizing ourselves is not some passing trend — it has become a way of life. While I believe society in general has taken a nosedive at the rise of technology and social media, I also can’t help but think how cool it would be to scroll through Facebook and see what my Granny was doing back in the day. 

If posted on Facebook, the colorfully captioned versions of the black and white pictures I have stowed away in an old suitcase with unrecognized faces would have a new life and a story. One of my favorites is when Granny and a few friends made faces at the camera. Other than being dated 1952, nothing is indicating who these friends were, but their personalities shined through. 

I would love more insight into the moment captured. Don’t get me wrong, the black and white somber faces in which we often view our ancestors are priceless. The bit of mystery surrounding those not captioned photos is haunting and cool, but I also love it when we get glimpses into who they were. 

Especially the one where my young Dad is sitting long-faced on the edge of the river with his pole beside him. Granny scribbled on the back of it. “June 1960 at Minnow Creek. Ronnie’s pissed because the fish ain’t bitin’.” 

We have a chance to truly connect with them in those situations because we realize just how much they were like us. That’s the opportunity we now have before us.

It won’t be long before Ancestry records will offer Facebook profiles and feeds.  As I post, I wonder if this is my legacy. Will my great-grandchildren see the newsfeed, which has weirdly become a documentation of my adult life? Will my ancestors connect with the real me they see on social media? Will they be proud of what they see? I hope so. 

They will see vivid pictures of all the food I burnt and one real-time video of the fire alarm sounding and the kids yelling “Is dinner ready?”

They will meet my animals, and especially our little diaper goat Clover who lived in the house for three months. They will also read an open letter of apology to my bill collectors who were waiting for payment until my purse returned from the circus.

(Because I left it there on vacation and they mailed it back to me. Thanks, Circus World!) 

They will go through my parents’ battles with cancer and they read my heart as I publicly grieved, lost my faith, and then regained it once again. They will know that God was faithful through the whole thing.

Oh–and believe me–they will hear about my failures over-and-over again. They will watch me get back up over-and-over again too. They will follow the journey of a wife and mother who loves God and leans on Him for her many weaknesses. 

Then one day, they will expand their ancestry searches to read Connor and Logan’s social media accounts — and I will be there too. Because just like I post about them now, I have no doubt they will one day post about me. 

“Just got back from visiting Mom at the home. She says she is going to stay up all night and eat cookies. She’s so funny. They sedated her at 7:30.”

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