I’m worried about something. (Pause to praise God this is all I have to worry about.) I’m worried that the next generation won’t have any photographs.
I saw that . . . the incredulous look on your face. I know what you are thinking – we are inundated with photographs. That’s all we do. That’s all the next generation is doing. Selfies. Photo bombs. Photo shop. Can one even buy a phone without a camera anymore? How did we manage years ago with a phone that would only offer voice communication? But I digress . . .
Photographs – we’re all about them, all the time. Digital technology has made it possible for everyone to take professional quality photographs. Photo editing makes it possible for us to embellish our photographs – just like the celebs! Forget Grandma’s brag book – we all have brag books in our pockets all the time. And we can share our photographs instantaneously. No more waiting days for the film to come back, or even minutes for Polaroid to develop. Now Grandma can see Johnny’s base hit before he even makes it to 2nd!
Trusting Digital Back Up Sources
Our phones hold bunches of photos, our iPads bunches more, and don’t even think about the computer hard drive. We have external hard drives, flash drives and SD cards, and they all hold more photographs than I can even imagine! And no more going through a stack of albums looking for the desired photo. Now we can sort our photographs into electronic files. Don’t know whether to put that adorable shot of the family dog in the “pet” file or “Johnny’s file?” Copy the pic and place it in both! In seconds! There is certainly no shortage of photographs in our world. So why am I worried?
In 20 years, I have seen computer technology make enormous strides. I have also seen computer technology come and go. You only have to learn a new format for it to become obsolete. Did anyone figure out Word Perfect before Microsoft Word came out? Did you figure out Pick-A-Number before Next-Number came out? The last time your phone died, were you able to get your photographs off of it and onto your new one? How many photos have you lost due to a crash in technology? Hmmmm . . . see where I’m going?
Printing Photographs for Safe Keeping
Nobody has photographs printed out anymore. A few times, I have suggested to someone that they should print out their favorites. The responses? Usually something like, “Oh I have SOOOO many pictures on my phone. . .” Many people believe that if they lose their photos, they can retrieve them from Facebook, Photobucket or Flickr. And currently, they can. But will Facebook, Photobucket or Flickr be around in 20 years? Accessible?
I remember the big floppy disks we used to store information on. About the time we got comfortable with them, the small, hard square disks came out. They would hold a lot more information and were more durable. We were amazed. Then CDs came out . . .Will wonders never cease?! Did you lose information you had stored on a floppy disk before you could transfer it to a CD? Or did you wait until there were no machines left that could read a floppy disk? Now CDs are making room for flash drives. I have lost so many files, including photographs, through the progress of technology . . . but you know what? I still have photographs, letters and newspaper clippings from the ’60s! And I have the same, passed down from grandparents, from the ’30s. Twenty years from now, will we have our children’s baby pictures? Will our children have pictures of their grandparents? And forget about newspaper clippings. (But that’s another article . . . )
So. What am I suggesting? I am suggesting that we all make it a point to PRINT OUT our favorite photographs. And just for good measure, I’m going to suggest that you make 2 copies of each, and to store the second set in a bank safety deposit box, or at least at a relative’s house that lives in another town. This way, should you lose your printed set of photographs to a fire or tornado, there will still be another set available. Even when Microsoft version 289 comes out. Even when your laptop crashes. Even when we no longer use flash drives.
But your Duck Lip Selfie? Don’t print out that one.