Today's culture centers around digital technology and it is so easy to snap a photo now that everyone has a camera with them everywhere they go --- via their cell phone. We capture these moments. Many of us will text, email, Facebook or Instagram them to share with friends and loved ones. I utilize these methods just as much as the next person - post a photo of my children and their friends at the Science Fair or a concert or enjoying time outdoors. It's quick, it's easy and being a transplant in Massachusetts it's such an easy way for grandparents and other family and friends to stay connected in my family's life. Kids grow up too fast, sharing these moments help stay connected.
But how many of those images have you printed? And of those you printed, how many are on display in your home?
Let's discuss the printing concern first.
We're living in a world where technology is advancing faster than it ever has before. 10 years ago or even 5 years ago, did we know how iPhones, iPads and android devices would transform how we communicate and interact with each other? Our images are stored on all these devices, on our computers. Many of these devices break, they are lost and so are our precious images of our families. And then there are those of us who diligently back up our files and studies have shown that even then we have to be aware of "software rot". Software rot is data that becomes unusable as the hardware and software required to access it disappears. Anyone who's tried to access old word processor documents, get data off a floppy disk, or an old VHS or cassette tape knows how annoying it can be. When we don't print, we leave ourselves susceptible to having those captured milestones and moments being lost forever. The safest way to ensure we don't fall victim to our images being unreadable is simply to print them. And better yet, store those prints in a safe, environmentally controlled place.
Next, the display of those prints.
The photographs of your family belong on the walls and tables of your home. And beyond being a great way to decorate your home, there are other benefits as well!
Psychologists have studied the effect of having family photographs displayed in the home and found that those children with photographs displayed in the home grew up with greater confidence and sense of belonging than those who didn’t. They had stronger feelings of value and a better understanding of where they came from.
And it's not just our children who benefit. When I'm having a rough day (we all have them -- sad news, children are fighting like cats and dogs, long work days), seeing the photographs of my kids and family are a sure way to boost my spirits and put a smile on my face. It won't solve your problems for sure, but every time I pass the wall where I hang both my childrens' 6th month milestone pictures, it gives me a little boost and forces me to pause and be thankful for the people that I have in my life.
Lastly these framed prints, these wall hangings, the keepsake albums... those are what our future generations will treasure. I love to go through my grandparents' photo albums. Not only does it capture the memories, it connects us to the past, to our heritage. Just picture your children or your childrens' children stumbling across an old box of prints or an old album. Now if it were a DVD or a flash drive, would they bother to load it up on a computer or would they even be able to due to quickly changing technology?