Most people in today's world spend the majority of their day with technology.
From posting a photo to Instagram to communicating strictly through rapid thumb movement, technology has become a part of the person using it.
During my Christmas break, I realized just how much we are losing because of this technological dependency and how much our families will lose when we're gone.
For me to realize this, however, I lost both my mamaw and my papaw in the span of three hours just two days before Christmas. I was torn between two sides of my family with no clear reason for any of it.
In the midst of all the pain and constant disbelief, I was reminded what each of my grandparents lived for and was forced to take a step back from the technologically "advanced" world we live in.
For three days, my family sifted through hundreds of pictures. Some of these held memories for specific family members and some of them seemed to hold an untold story from my mamaw or papaw's past. A story worth photographing. As we laughed and told stories that could only be remembered because of the black and white or faded colors we held, I wondered about the grandchildren of the future.
The days of developing a role of film, saving and framing countless pictures are over. What will my future grandchildren have to look at? Will they have my iCloud password?
The last time I saw my mamaw she said, "You're only as old as you feel."
Just one month ago she was Black Friday shopping. She went out every Friday with her friends and went on midnight Wal-Mart runs with her best friend. She lived her life with passion and taught me to do the same.
I feel as though now, after seeing her house the emptiest a house can be, without her, I know her better than ever.
Her drawers were full of photo albums, newspaper clippings of articles that meant something to her, and endless memorabilia from her life. These articles were her loved ones that she lost, her son's football recaps, her son-in-law's concert announcement, and anything else she thought was worth keeping.
What will my family have? An outdated link to these articles? Maybe I'll share it on Facebook and they'll search my history.
My papaw was the kind of man you never forget, even if you only met him once. There wasn't a single time I was with him that he didn't see someone and say, "Howdy neighbor!" with a huge smile on his face. He never treated anyone as less than a friend and I will strive to do the same.
Among his things, we found calendars that he had written important events in. These events weren't world news, or even local news. They were events important to my papaw and that's it. On some days the calendar would read, "Stayed with Cheryl and the girls tonight." Some were as simple as a fishing trip and some were the births of his grandchildren.
What kind of memories will my family read decades from now? Am I going to print out screenshots of the calendar from my iPhone?
Although I had different relationships with both my mamaw and my papaw, I see them in my life. I have my mamaw's red velvet cake, her banana punch and her personal wedding cake.
When I made each of these things, she was a phone call away to tell me the recipes. Now my family has her handcrafted recipe box. What will my family have? My favorite Pinterest recipes I found out of pure boredom?
I see mamaw in the board game Aggravation, in the handmade quilt that now hangs in my room and I see her in her daughter, my momaw. I see my papaw in his baseball team, the Orioles, and his forehead kisses which will be with me forever.
These are the things I will remember and it is truly terrifying to think future generations will never know the meaning of such personal items that hold endless memories.
Instead of securing a password for your photo albums, print them out. Pick up the paper and clip the article that means something to you. Write down who you are. Don't be forgotten in a world of forgetfuls.
Cortney Roark is a junior in journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at email@example.com.