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Generation to Generation

Utilising social media to capture a new type of family photo album.

Photo of Shauna Curry
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

Primarily families of those who have passed. Furthermore it could also be used for someone who is dying to reflect and view their life.

Recently, I was on the family Facebook page and a picture of my great great grandparents came up and I wondered what were they thinking or feeling at that moment in time?  And then I realised that I didn't know anything about them besides that they were my relatives and their names initially - and I found this upsetting as I didn't know who they were. I luckily had my Grandmother a phone call away to ask a few stories about them; but what if I hadn't? They would have just been another photo in my family album; which is such a loss to never know the person they were.

Though it's too late for my great great grandparents  it's not too late for our generation to utilise social media when positing a photo on Facebook or Instagram to make it an account of our hopes, ambitions and thoughts at that moment in time. Or even just what was significant about that moment that you took the time to post it? This could include a sight (the view on the top of a mountain), a sound (background music) , a taste (sea salt from the ocean air at the beach), a feel (the fluffiness of my dog)

The  value in this is that this information can be a self reflection of one's life - like a storybook -  to be passed down from one  from generation to the next generation. This would gives us deep insight into our loved ones and can be seen at the end of our lives to reflect on significant moments in our lives.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

My experiment is to create an optional questionnaire (1 minute at the most) on social media sites that would prompt an individual to not just reflect on a photo - like we currently do - but to capture the whole experience that is associated with that photo/ video - like senses stimulated at that moment. This would be used to create a album of ones life that could be passed on.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am currently a student studying Human Resource Management.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual


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Photo of Bobbi Siegmann

I have been writing down family stories that my parents told me (both now deceased)  as well as stories about my childhood. I have shared them (so far 4 installments) with all my nieces & nephews & their children. I have encouraged them to write down stories to add to the archive. I shared the stories I had at my sister's funeral & many family members commented on them & shared more stories. I had shared them with my sister before she di d as well as a video of family photos which she told me she really enjoyed looking at. We shouldn't wait - write stuff down now. Doesn't have to be in chronological order or the great American novel. Just get them down in some form. 

Photo of Chris

Hi Bobbi,

I like the idea of just seizing the moment and finding a way to record it. I had been thinking about this as a one sentence journal. Taking that idea in the context of the family pictures it might be cool to have a "one picture journal" - take shots of wherever you are and upload them somewhere with a few tags that the app can add about location, time, etc.
Then you could view your visitations over time - see both the places you have been and see how they have changed over the years if you revisit the same places.
Maybe even have the app pull up pictures you have taken before when it detects that you are back in the same place, show you the picture and ask you to take the same picture again at this new date? Change and continuity in the same picture stream lets you face your own change and continuity.

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