It’s been over a year since Ganma died (my Chinese pronunciaion of “Grandma”, since she couldn’t pronounce the “r” or the “d”). My grandfather and one of my aunts still live in that shared home, so their phone number is still in my phone book. So whenever I’m going to call to say hello and see how things are going, I still get the contact picture for that phone number pop up– which is my grandmother, from a time before she was diagnosed with leukemia.
Despite that I’ve changed phones, possibly twice since Granma passed away, her photo persists, automatically migrating over the cloud with the rest of data.
They say that those that pass live on in our memories– this is true. Times are changing further– such that we get reminders in more persistent ways through the convenience of technology that wants to help us, normally in other circumstances, from forgetting things.
Facebook backs up all the picture I receive in FB Messenger conversations automatically. An aunt of mine passed away in the Philippines two days ago– I didn’t know her, so it’s not a huge deal for me. But I was part of a FB Messenger message group where her sons and immediate family were posting prayers and pictures. Because a lot of the conversation is in a dialect I don’t understand, I muted the conversation since I can’t make sense of it anyway. But FB continues to save those pictures in the background.
It’s such that when I’m hitting “attach photo” in a completely unrelated message to someone else, with the intention of posting a picture of the [Cat], I see pictures of a dying woman hooked up to machines in a hospital, or her funeral.
That’s just technology being technology– while it has been programed for convenience, perhaps it has a thing or two to learn about the importance of context. I wonder too if it brings to issue the place of forgetfulness.