Technology has a habit of permeating every facet of our daily lives and USB memory sticks are proving they are no exception to the rule. Whether they’re used to celebrate a child’s birth, to record childhood events, to store precious wedding photographs or to record the mundanities of everyday life there is no doubting the impact they have made since their introduction some 10 years ago.
Millions of USB sticks are bought in the UK every year and millions more are given away as promotional products to support product launches, as competition prizes and to hand out at conferences and university open days! Wherever there is a need to store and transport data, to hand out data or to raise brand awareness USB sticks are being used.
Today even in death USB sticks can’t be avoided – in the last couple of months we have supplied printed USB memory sticks to Funeral Directors, Will writing companies and to family members of the deceased.
Funeral Directors and Will writing companies are using them just like any other company – they’re printing their brand and logo on the USB sticks, pre-loading them with information about their services, links to their websites, testimonials from customers etc. and then they are handing them out to prospective clients. Apart from the subject area there is nothing unusual in how these particular USB sticks are being used.
But the USB sticks being supplied to relatives of the deceased are interesting because these are typically printed with a photo that celebrates the life of the person that has died. The memory on the stick is then loaded with what amounts to a “scrapbook” of their life; photos, video clips, music they loved, tributes from friends and family and links to websites that they have created: Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr etc.
The USB sticks are then either handed out on the day of the funeral or sent out to friends and family to help them celebrate the life of the loved one that has died. Whilst they might not be for everyone there is no doubt that done well they are a loving tribute to person that has died and they help the person putting them together to heal from their loss.
With the seemingly relentless march of technology into every aspect of our lives we are all going to have to think about how our own personal “digital footprints” are managed and remembered.