In a time of information, where anything and anyone is literally at our fingertips it seems strange that in telling a story you don’t have the ability to simply share.
When you think of the (anti-) Social Media world we live in; within the TicTok, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin bubbles, you will note that they have all become broken, all disjointed and designed for particular gain, profit!
It seems ludicrous when you know that most, if not all, were initially established to bring people together, to share content and messages between friends; to give people a space to move away from the corporate and formality of the digital letter (the email) and step away from that Blackberry existence!
This quite obviously didn’t happen, and in actual fact, we are spending more time on social media with the simple convenience of having everything on a smartphone in the pocket.
Science of Sharing
It seems strange, especially when reflecting back on the start of these platforms. Setup to share videos, GIF’s, Meme’s, photos and text seems like a forgotten ambition… Where actual sharing as never been so hard!
Sharing a picture and telling a story has become as prescriptive as X amount of characters, or even juggling the dark arts of now what the platform’s audience want, how they will engage and even when! Frankly, if any of these aren’t considered generally people won’t engage and probably won’t even see your message, story or content. Importantly if it doesn’t appeal to the masses then the unseen machine learning; the algorithm that keeps the advertising channels open for business, will drop your piece to the bottom of the pile.
Perhaps this seems a little harsh, considering I enjoy getting lost, occasional, in nearly all those platforms. Maybe, and as any marketeer will tell you, with the automatic rollout of changes to goalposts or algorithm, and the completely different ways people view the content and the words on the screen from platform to platform, it makes it an endless and thankless challenge.
The Every Day
But what exactly does that mean to the average every day Joe or Joesphine Slow, who simply wants to tell a tale, share exciting news or get a message out there?
Well, when sharing within your circle of friends, followers and groups it is likely to, unfortunately, fall into that same algorithmic engine, it will appear on the news feed of those friends, briefly but it will soon disappear into the ether of cat vids, pranks, misinformation and misdirection!
It is a frustration that has been a heavy consideration of us here, especially when you are genuinely trying to share positive and supportive work, offering free ways to remember someone who may have died, or simply tell a story that needs to be heard, it falls on deaf ears, to pardon the pun.
Does it Matter?
Well to most users, no, whether young or old, new to the social media gravy train or a seasoned multi-platform guru you roll with what you are given; one day you are harmlessly poking people and the next you are micro-monitoring how many likes you got on a puppy photo.
We know how dangerous this is becoming, especially for our youth, and we have seen a growing trend of people deciding to take that ‘Social Media Holiday’, a break from the relentless feed of bitesize information and scrolling.
But even more import, in the context of remembrance it is extremely difficult to store those memories, recall those tales and have others share positive messages about a particular person, occasion or event.
“A memory made alone abides in isolation; such is love that is never shared. Fill your life with shared memories and love, and in the end you will have lived.” ― Lynda I Fisher
The Roots of Memory Tree.com
Our vision with Memory-Trees.com is simple, give people a (free) place and the opportunity to share memories, share stories and tales; bring friends, family and close acquittances together to remember a specific time, person, occasion or even an event.
Let’s remove all the advertising, clutter, spam and never-ending video streams so we can get back to allow individuals to collaborate together, to share together and remember together.
Our aim is to always give you that important space to come back to, a comforting home where you can store those dreams, aspirations, thoughts and memories.
So what else and what next?
As well as our very real mission to offer something online to support those who have lost a loved one during Covid it is equally important that we can give something back, something physical in a digital world.
We plan to link those Memory Trees to actual trees, offering ‘life for a life’ and a fitting tribute for those who have lost someone.
Memory Trees will use technology (like augmented reality) to seamlessly marry those memoirs, stories, audio tales, video and photos to a physical location, allow future generations to recount who the tree might have been planted for in the first place. If you imagine a Headstone at a grave where you can hear and see the person and their family.
Create a ‘Memory-Page’’ for your loved one
We have taken hundreds of dedications to plant Memory Trees in The Forest of Memories, and offered people a place to collectively remember their loved ones on the Memory-Pages. Thank you to everyone who (at short notice) has helped to do this by providing information on their loved ones. The pages we have set up are only a fraction of the numbers who have dedicated a tree in the Forest of Memories so far. We encourage anyone who hasn’t yet created a Memory Page to do so.
If you have not yet created a Memory-Page for a loved one you lost during this pandemic you can do this today. Visit the Memory-Trees.com website and complete the ‘Dedicate a Tree’ request, you will then get an email with instructions on what to do next. It’s really easy to follow but if you have any issues just contact us and we will address these for you.
Don’t worry if you have already dedicated a tree to a loved one on the Forest of Memories website, the process should still work OK for you and you won’t end up with duplicate tree dedications.
Once you’ve created your Memory-Page, Memory-Trees.com will then let you know as and when new functionality becomes available on your account as part of the full Memory-Tree services that are being developed for the bereaved. Services that will be designed to make your dedication to your loved one richer, more meaningful, and longer-lasting.
The Forest of Memories
The Forest of Memories is a project started by ‘Our Heroes CIC’ with the objective of creating a network of memorial forests around the UK. Forests of remembrance for all those who have tragically lost their lives during this pandemic, and the creation of sustainable places of reflection for the bereaved and for people whose mental health has been affected.
The Forests of Memories will be grown in memory of people adversely affected during the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst addressing climate change, benefiting biodiversity, and establishing an educational and cultural resource for local communities. Creating a lasting tribute to people in ways that will benefit future generations.
STAY SAFE AND REMEMBER TOGETHER