Everything we do revolves around Recorded Oral Storytelling (ROS).
What is Recorded Oral Storytelling?
Simply put, it's when a person tells a story about their life that they wish to pass on to their kids, grandkids, or future generations, and that story is recorded on audio or video.
It's the fastest, easiest, and most authentic way to keep your family heritage intact.
3 Things You May Not Know
About Recorded Oral Storytelling
You often don’t think about it until it’s too late.
Despite telling stories every day, people constantly lose their family stories, heritage, and connection when their loved ones are taken by natural aging, disease, or death. You don’t realize what you’ve lost until it’s too late. There is a simple, efficient, and genuine way to ensure that never happens.
You might think you’re documenting memories, but are you really?
There is really only one way to genuinely know where you came from and connect with the people who came before you: by hearing them tell their stories. Photos, social media, scrapbooks, genealogy services, and even the retelling of stories at family get-togethers will only scratch the surface.
It only takes an hour a week to preserve a legacy.
In as little as one hour a week, you can ensure your family stories will never be forgotten. Give an invaluable gift for you, your family, and generations so that, despite age, disease, or death, the connection to your loved one, the sound of their voice, and their stories, will never be lost.
We've been telling stories since the dawn of humanity. It's in our DNA.
But in the modern world, most of us don't have the time to memorize our parents' and grandparents' life stories, much less will our kids do that for us.
But we have the technology to solve this problem. Tell your stories once and preserve them for all time on a video recording.
Staying connected with a loved one or learning about your heritage is made so easy using this method. And the pressure is off of you to remember everything.
Storytelling + Recording
How does it work?
Let us show you how. Using our resources, work at your own pace to record your family stories yourself.
TMC + You Complete Together
TMC Completes for You
It's not Genealogy. It's Living Memory
Delving into your genealogy often involves looking at photos of long-gone strangers, charts of lineage, and if you’re very lucky, a clipping from an article or a hand-written letter. But so much is missing. What about your ancestors’ aspirations? Their fears? Their struggles? Their triumphs? Who WERE they? You can’t know because those stories were never documented. Genealogy is an important part of filling in the gaps of the your past, but unless your ancestor wrote out their whole life story, chances are it won’t tell you who they really were. If we rely on genealogy alone, the same will one day be true of your grandparents’, parents’ and your own life stories.
- often research intensive
- charting birth and death dates, marriage dates
- locating where in the world your family came from
- finding cool old articles, letters, and other written artifacts
- grasping at straws to know a fraction about the people who came before you
- necessary only because previous generations didn’t capture their Living Memory
- extremely limited compared to the vast detail of Living Memory
- expensive when you think of how little can be retrieved compared to what can be captured with Living Memory
We love genealogy, but it isn't what The Memory Collective does. Instead, we focus on Living Memory.
Living Memory, on the other hand, is expansive, comprehensive, and available to you right now. Living Memory is your recollection of fresh-baked cookies at your grandmother's house while you looked for Easter eggs when you were a child. It's your father's military stories that you've heard a hundred times. It's hearing from your parents' mouths how they met and fell in love. It's the struggles and the lessons learned and the reflections from life. It's everything you'd want to know about your loved ones so you could hear their stories forever, even after they're gone. It’s the most valuable inheritance you could receive, because it will keep them close and alive through their stories forever.
Living Memory is:
- hearing the stories of birthdays, deaths, and marriages (and the dates)
- hearing stories about where your family came from
- the stories behind that cool old article, letter, or other artifacts
- infinitely deeper than genealogy
- the stories and details you can access in your mind right now
- individual and family stories, opinions, reflections, and life lessons
- the details you’d care to know and remember
- lost constantly because we do not document it
- your loved one’s laugh, tone, voice, personality, and mannerisms
- the details that will vanish if something happens to you or your cognitive function
“When there's no one left in the living world who remembers you, you disappear from this world. Our memories… they have to be passed down by those who knew us in life—in the stories they tell about us.”
from Disney's Coco
Who This Is For
- If you’re a proactive person who appreciates your family’s history, heritage, and culture.
- If you’re a parent who wishes to ensure your kids know their grandparents and feel deeply loved.
- If you’re seeking to stay connected to your loved ones, even after they’re gone
- If you cherish storytelling and value the stories of your elders
- If you enjoy reflecting on your life and enhancing your family connections
- If you’re interested in writing memoirs
- If you enjoy discussing talents, skills, or passions
- If you’re curious about understanding your parents’, grandparents’ and generational experiences
- If you want to preserve irreplaceable memories and avoid uncertainty
Better Than Other Mediums.
Many people think that their photos, journals, scrapbooks, memory books, or memoirs are all they need to pass down their memories to future generations. But in reality, these only scratch the surface. We don't want you to stop your other memory preservation methods. Quite the opposite in fact. We want you to supplement what you already might be doing with Recorded Oral Storytelling. Read on to better understand what we mean by that.
1000 words times 10.
A picture is worth 1000 words, but only if you remember those 1000 words. Without context, your photo collections become meaningless to future generations—including your kids and grandkids. ROS allows you to talk about your photos and provide the context of people, location, story, and other details, creating context for your descendants.
Benefits of Recorded Oral Storytelling
If You're the Storyteller
- You’ll have a deeper appreciation for life.
- You’ll have an increased memory and you’ll get to remember the details you preserve for the rest of your life.
- You’ll have a backup of your memories, just in case you developed Alzheimer’s or other memory affective disorders.
- You’ll feel uplifted, giving the gift of your knowledge, experience, wisdom, opinions, and stories to your kids, grandkids, and future generations.
- You’ll feel seen, heard, and understood.
- You’ll have a deeper connection with the people you love.
- You’ll have the opportunity to talk about things you’re passionate about and teach.
- You’ll be contributing to history and posterity.
- You’ll leave no regrets about things left unsaid.
- Your memoir will be a breeze to write.
If You're the Recipient of the Stories
- Even when your loved one is gone, you’ll still be able to see their face and hear their stories.
- You’ll have relief and peace of mind.
- You’ll have a deeper connection and appreciation for your loved one.
- You’ll never feel guilty for forgetting a story because your video library remembers for you.
- You’ll have a deeper appreciation and understanding of heritage, culture, and legacy.
- You’ll see your parents/grandparents as more than those roles—as individuals who had lives outside of being your parent or grandparent.
- Your kids and grandkids will know where they came from at a deep level.
- Your kids and grandkids will appreciate your parent/grandparent.
- You’ll have sympathy and empathy for your parents/grandparents and the experiences they had in life.
- You’ll have a better understanding of generational trauma so the cycle can be stopped.
Why You Shouldn't Wait
We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t make you aware of the statistics that could affect your ability or your loved one’s ability to remember and share stories. Nearly every day, we have conversations with people who say, “I wish I would have known about this when my mom first got sick with Alzheimer’s.” Though we want to encourage all ages of life to capture their memories, our focus is currently on the elderly, because they are the most at-risk of losing their living memories or the ability to tell them. Let’s look at some statistics.
Some studies show we forget about 50% of new information within an hour of hearing it, and 70% of it within 24 hours. It’s no wonder when we try to recall the details of stories even just a year later, they’ve faded already.
The peak age for memory is in your 20s, and declines from your 50s to 60s. This is why it’s such a great idea to start documenting your memories as early as possible. You stand to benefit the most when you do.
About 40% of people over 65 have age-related memory loss. That’s 16 million people in the US alone. 1 in 7 Americans 71 and older have some kind of Dementia.
In 2023, an estimated 6.7 million Americans 65 and older have Alzheimer’s. That’s 1 in 9 people age 65 and older. After age 65, the risk of Alzheimer’s doubles every 5 years.
Strokes, which can take away the ability to speak and tell stories, is a leading cause of death in the US. About 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year in the US alone. That means someone has a stroke every 40 seconds. And every 4 minutes, someone dies of one. Around 1/3 of people who have strokes have difficulty speaking after.
This is to say nothing of the other types of dementia, MS, Parkinson’s, ALS, Huntington’s, cancer and its treatments, that can take away your ability to recall and share stories by affecting your memory or speech.
Even if these statistics don’t scare the storyteller, consider the impact on you as the caregiver of someone with dementia. Your loved one’s recorded stories could help you remember them as you knew them, and not as the disease made them—giving you peace and comfort in an unthinkably difficult time.
The bottom line is, the earlier you preserve your memories, the more you and your family will have to remember later in life. The more you’ll have to pass down. The more your family heritage will grow instead of shrink.