Can We still Create a Curated Life?

Can We still Create a Curated Life?

It use to be that as a culture we were limited in how much we could own music, movies, books, photos and so on by the amount of space we had in our homes. Yet now with endless digital storage, we can have more and more and more of all these things. We can keep our own writing endlessly, every image saves automatically, our music libraries sometimes feel endless and so much of our kids school work is on google classroom.

I’m a lover of paperless, non-physically stored items (except for music- which I still thinks sounds better on CD or vinyl) for so many reasons. The search capabilities alone allows us to find what we’re looking with just a few key strokes. The ability to share images and thoughts with friends and family across the nation, the world even, brings us closer. We can keep our homes and offices more sparse, and have out only our current work or the things we find beautiful. And yet, I believe we’ve stopped curating our input, stopped curating the cultural influences and stopped curating what we deem important and valuable enough to keep. We don’t have to limit, so there’s no clear sense from these things what we value.

As a child, my family would go through the photos freshly developed from the lab and toss those images that weren’t any good. I would put my favorites into photo albums and eventually the ones that didn’t make the album got tossed. We have the ability to do the same with our photos on the phone, cloud and computer, but I find that we don’t. We just take another one until we get it right, and those not so good ones are left to take up virtual space in the cloud.

Even 10 years ago, I could only keep the the amount of books that my home could hold, yet now, I can save books on my tablet and my computer and through Amazon eternally.

None of this is inherently wrong- it’s just a cultural shift in the way we consume, contain and retain. And yet I wonder when our kids look back at what we own digitally, when their kids look back at our cloud identity, will they know what we valued? Will it give clues into what was really important? Because I know, the act of cleaning out my grandparent’s houses let me get to know them, gave me a different perspective on what they held dear. I’m not so sure that my kids or grand-kids will get the same experience.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this un-curated life I’m imagining.  Maybe you have a totally different opinion or you see possibility here that I do not- I’d love to know about it.

And as the wheel of the year turns and I’m spending more time indoors, maybe I’ll take some time to curate the thousands of photos I’ve stored online over the years. What will you be doing as the seasons change?  You can start by joining me and Leyna Brabant in a conversation about Shifting our Schedules with the Seasons, later this week. It’s the quarterly Your Organized Life class and the last one of 2018.