Capturing Memories: The Family Photo Album
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Politics and Activism

Capturing Memories: The Family Photo Album

Don't let photo albums go extinct

Capturing Memories: The Family Photo Album

"A picture is worth a thousand words." Though this is an old and often overused phrase, there is truth to it. Photographs hold memories of the past, instantaneously capturing a moment that in the passing of life would have been forgotten. Growing up, I remember the thrill of developing photos, and seeing what they would become. At my home, shelves of our bookcases are dedicated to preserving these photos in albums, carrying pieces of my family's past within them.

When visiting home, I often turn to these shelves of albums, looking at them with new eyes each time, as though I haven't seen the pictures before countless times. It often seems to be a way in which my family can gather together, surrounding the album and laughing at photos while also spurring a discussion about our pasts.

Childhood memories can easily slip away, but somehow when looking back in these albums a simple glimpse into the past can relive the fondest or most mortifying of memories. My family albums provide flashbacks, helping to remember old pets, friends, and of course documenting my most awkward preteen years (think neon pants and finger-less gloves). While some of these photos include memories i might want to forget, most contain images of myself in the carefree days of childhood.

Now, like many others, I have succumbed to what I find to be an error in modern technology. This error is the manner in which photographs can stay on a cell phone, never reaching actual development. Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone, and the ease with which I can access photos and post them on social media. However, there is something much less tangible about this way of keeping photos. Thus, I fear that the era of family photo albums is becoming extinct.

As I ponder this possible extinction, I realize that the issue is that with one simple glitch or malfunction of a phone, years worth of photographs documenting memories can be erased. Yes, overtime photo albums can become tarnished or worn, but there is a safety in having a physical object contain photos as opposed to them being on the internet or iCloud.

As I imagine myself aging, I do not want to show my future children and grandchildren pictures on a computer screen or phone. I want them to view the nostalgia of the past, without fear of loss through technology, and take a step into a simpler time with these albums. Even though a picture is worth a thousand words, pictures containing family memories are worth so much more; they are priceless.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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