Finding out about who your ancestors were and how they play a part in who you turned out to be is as simple as spitting your DNA into a tube and mailing it off to a lab to be tested. Voluntary DNA testing may not exactly be a watercooler topic just yet, but enough people have heard of it that 1.5 million of them thus far have had their DNA tested.
This 1.5 million number is actually a tremendous increase from the 800,000 folks who had their DNA tested last year - that’s nearly double! When Fox News asked Anna Swayne of AncestryDNA what people’s motivation was for getting tested, it essentially boiled down to one natural thing: curiosity.
The beautiful thing, as Swayne notes, is that because science and technology have come so far insofar as DNA testing, especially during the last 12 to 15 years or so, it is much easier now than it ever was before to find out who your ancestors were, where they came from, and how they led to you. Swayne also believes that it’s about making that important connection, whether it’s to a particular region or culture, or to the world as a whole.
In the recent past, when our parents and grandparents would research their roots, it was typically the older folks who were more curious about their genealogy and who were more interested in having their questions answered about their histories - answers that they had no other way to discover since, of course, their ancestors lived during a time when it wasn’t so easy to track someone digitally, or perhaps even via a paper trail, since paper can go missing, fade over time, or become otherwise damaged and unreadable.
And if your ancestors didn’t do anything noteworthy per se, then you can’t really head to the library and pull a microfiche containing a news article on them, so how else was one supposed to know what went down in their family history? Today, however, younger folks’ interest in genealogy is less about finding out about their roots and more about gathering as much data on themselves as possible so that they can perform self-surveillance.
What this means is that we want to know everything we can about ourselves so that we can better control where that information ultimately ends up. It’s a form of identity protection, and if we can learn it more easily and work to keep it safe, then why not, right?
Alondra Nelson, author of the book The Social Life of DNA, believes that finding out about your roots is similar to finding out anything else about your daily life, from the calories you count on your FitBit, to the books you read on Goodreads, to the movies you track on Flixster and the photos you post to Instagram. Genealogy is just another thing that our knowledge-hungry (insofar as ourselves are concerned) brains want to feed on.
Are you interested in getting your DNA tested? Soteria offers a wide range of DNA services. For more information, view our DNA Testing page, https://www.soteriascreening.com/dna-testing.html and call (800) 533-6480 to talk to one of our DNA Testing experts!