Last weekend, I went to a Panic! At The Disco concert in Chicago and I took really good pictures. At least, I think they were good pictures because I deleted all of them. Not on purpose, of course. I ran out of space on my phone and wanted to make room, so I permanently deleted all of them thinking that they were backed up on Google Photos. As it turns out, my pictures only back up when I'm on Wi-Fi. Bummer. Luckily, I still had the few pictures and videos that I took after the incident.
Anyway, when I figured out that all my pictures were gone, I was so upset. If I had known this would happen, I would've just sat back and enjoyed the concert without worrying about whether or not you could actually see Brendon Urie on the screen. Either that or I would've risked missing half a song to delete only the pictures that didn't turn out. I wanted them back because they were gone before I could even look at them (which is stupid, I know, because I was actually at the concert and pictures and videos could never do it justice). I even tried multiple tricks and computer programs that are meant to recover lost files but apparently, after deleting pictures from iPhone's "recently deleted" folder, they're gone forever. Yeah, my bad. I just needed more space on my phone, you know?
But then I remembered: I very, very rarely look back at concert pictures and videos except for the few days after. I don't even look at pictures from the Coldplay concert (a.k.a. the most epic concert ever) I went to this past summer aside from the one I set as my computer wallpaper. So, why was I so upset? It just seems ridiculous now, especially since my sisters took almost identical pictures that they probably will hardly ever look at either. Also, my iPhone is a 5S, so the picture quality wouldn't have been particularly noteworthy. I told myself that the best pictures are in my head, especially if I'll be "looking" at them more often than I would have looked at tangible photos.
The memory is always stronger than the picture. Although pictures capture the memory frozen in time (and camera quality is just getting better and better), assuming that the memory doesn't fade too much, what you remember in your mind's eye will surely be clearer than what a picture can display. Sure, they help to bring up old memories, but if the experience was memorable enough, the clearest pictures will probably be the ones in your head. Pictures speak a thousand words, but memories speak a million. Pictures, tokens and mementos are nice to have, but they can be lost or destroyed. Material objects are just like that. On the other hand, if the memory is strong enough, the pictures in your head will be enough to last a lifetime.