Facebook’s “You Know You’re From” Phenomena and Genealogy

Facebook's "you know you are from" phenomena

So, let me ask you. Have you been roped into the latest Facebook craze gone viral? The one where you are invited to join a group and stroll down memory lane about where you grew up?

Let me warn you, it is a total time suck. You get hooked and then four or five hours later you realize you never cooked that roast or cleaned that room or wrote that article.  Seriously.

While it is a lot of fun – especially for those of us who grew up in very small towns – realize that this does have value to genealogists and family historians. It achieves something so easily that many of us work years to do: to get people talking about what they remember.

I wonder if a family historian started a similar group such as “You know you’re a MacEntee if . . .” and invite family members to discuss common behavior traits.  I remember growing up that my mother – an Austin – swore that any “true Austin” detested raisins in food such as rice pudding or raisin bread.  If you liked those things, well then you weren’t really part of the family, and you were adopted.  I recall many a cousin crying over hearing that!

Perhaps this phenomena marks a maturation of the role Facebook and other social media can play in terms of family history? I’d love to hear your own experiences with this Facebook phenomena which CNN has reported on and seems to have gone “viral.”

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.


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