I'm doing some unpacking & organizing today--almost 18 months after moving into this house we still have so many boxes to sort through--and came across some boxes of pictures, which is not good because it slows down the unpacking as I pause to look at pictures. :-)
But it got me thinking about how it's been years since I have had any pictures printed--photos are almost all digital now. My two oldest regularly used to look through family photo albums; my youngest has experienced that less, because I don't put pictures in albums anymore. Looking through photo albums leads to telling stories about the people in the pictures and fosters one's ability to remember family events. I'm sorry my youngest hasn't experienced that as much as his siblings. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to go through the family photo albums. I'm convinced that there are memories I have of my childhood that I have held on to because I had pictures of them.
Then there's the cultural impact of the digitization of photography--20, 50 or 100 years from now, it is much less likely that people will stumble on old boxes of pictures sitting in their grandparents' attics. That's kind of sad.
On the other hand, I guess digital photos are forever, impervious to damage from light or spills and more accessible/less likely to get forgotten in a box somewhere. And they're probably more likely to be tagged with dates and names and places, so I guess that's a good thing. I have so many photos from my parents that have no names or dates, and I have no idea who the people are. Even among my own photos, I sometimes have trouble remembering exactly when the picture was taken or who all the people in the photo are.
As usual, change and progress are a mixed bag, with good points and bad. Photos are so much easier to take and share and preserve these days, but if, like my 15-year-old, you don't have a smartphone and aren't on social media, you may not see many pictures at all, including of your own family.
(Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash)