Saturday, February 27, 2021

Sharing Our Stories: Overcoming Button Paralysis

Friday was turning out to be a frustrating day. 

First, my physical therapy appointment was changed. So I missed Taralyn's Watch Party for "Finding Your Cousins on IG" at RootsTech, the world's largest celebration of family.

I joined the Twitter Party late. And realized once again that Twitter is a medium that challenges me. 

I went to Desktop Diner, only to press the wrong button when I was switching rooms to exit the entire diner. I couldn't figure out how to get back in until all the breakout rooms were closed and there were just a few folks left in the main room. But, silver lining here, my conversation with Richard Bernard in the journal breakout room (chosen because I was looking for a taste of chocolate to start my menu) resulted in an email from him sharing two apps that he recommended. Thanks, Richard, for the prompt reply! 

And so you might understand that it was with a bit of trepidation that I decided to try another watch party. With so much to choose from, why did I keep trying these events? Because they bring a bit more connection to this virtual conference. I like knowing that I can interact with the presenter and other attendees in real time. And while I had no idea who Sarah Day was, I did "know" Camille Meacham from previous ConnectionsExperience events. 

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the button for this session to find a very young Sarah Day enthusiastically encouraging us to "Press the Button! Nothing Terrible Will Happen"  It was a rapid-fire walk though FamilySearch and Ancestry with quick explorations of buttons. Here's the note I posted on our congregation's FB page:

"Do you have 'Press the button' fear? Sarah says, 'Do it anyway and make some awesome discoveries.' She walks us through the buttons on Family Search and Ancestry. I'm looking forward to trying out some new-to-me buttons."

And so before going to bed last night, I opened FamilySearch and pressed some new-to-me buttons. And here are my favorite discoveries:

  • You can follow people on FamilySearch! (I've been using Recents to find people again quickly.) Now I can just follow them.
  • Clicking on the Descendancy View lets you see more than just parents and grandparents. It's the best way to see how cousins, aunts, and uncles fit into your family tree. 
  • When you're in Timeline (one of my favorite tools), you can click on Map and then Show Route to see the movement of ancestors.

I still need to explore Ancestry. I'm not familiar with it, but I won't be afraid to press buttons when I visit. With a little help from Sarah, my frustrating Friday turned into fun Friday. Who knew someone so young could guide me from button paralysis to pressing buttons with glee? 

To savor the magic of story, link your post at Sharing Our Stories.


  1. How I wish so many things could change for the positive with the "push of a button!" I will say one postive thing that has come out of this pandemic is all of the technology that has been created, shared, and used.

  2. "Press the button" could be a mantra for anyone who needs encouragement to be a risk-taker, explore, learn, communicate and share. Press the button, Ramona!