"When you think about the quantity of documentation from our daily lives that is captured in digital form, like our interactions by email, people's tweets, and all of the World Wide Web, it's clear that we stand to lose an awful lot of our history." Dr. Vint Cerf, VP Google
In a recent cocktail conversation with an octogenarian, he expressed that same concern. His point: the great historical biographies were written based on correspondence between historical figures and their colleagues, family, and friends. Letters and diaries gave great insight into these lives. Today, emails are deleted, photos are on cell phones that go kerplunk in the river and all 1,000 photos are lost, no one writes letters, and journals are kept "in the cloud".
Well, my friends, that cloud may burst and we may become a second Dark Ages. Without printed documents where are we when electronic data becomes corrupt or our children no longer have the hardware required to access our photo history?
My advice: PRINT IT OUT!
Where would we be if Dorothea Lange did not capture and print the plight of migrant families or Edward Curtis did not provide a glimpse into the Civil War? Yes, they worked with negatives instead of digital data, and had to print it out to share. It was a different time and resources and technology were limited. Don't just leave your memories on your media card or your hard drive - it can fail!
One of my friends recently created a family photo wall in her home. She picked about 30 pictures and printed them out. Put them in inexpensive frames. And hung them on the wall. Use Walgreens, or Costco, or whomever and go to Michael's or online for frames. Cheap and fun and conversation starters.
When my mom was asked what she would grab in case of a fire she always said, "my photo albums". (probably even before her kids!). I now have many of those albums and it was such a blessing when my parents passed away to go back to 1918 and see them as babies.
Our photos are not only memories. They are a visual history for future generations.
So, print them out. Pick 10 per month. Store them in a box if need be. It is fun to sit with that box and look at them in years to come.
And if we don't, what will we have for Throw Back Thursdays on Facebook in years to come?