In this world of sharing what you're doing right when you're doing it, it's easy to lose a grip on reality. Every single day, 95 million pictures are posted on Instagram. Now, think back to the last time you actually printed any of those photos, whether you printed them at home or sent them to be printed. I think the only time I have printed pictures recently is for a gift or to decorate my room.
This is a reality for so many people these days. I'm sure that a lot of my friends wouldn't even know how to get tangible copies of their pictures, nor do many see the importance of having printed pictures.
The only albums we are putting pictures in is on Facebook.
But who doesn't love to reminisce? I often find myself going through old albums my mom or grandma have made, and I love seeing the printed pictures from years past. There is no swiping or editing required. These photos are completely "au naturale," and reflect a time when candid pictures without retouching were everywhere.
Many people worry about our generation, that even though we are the ones taking the most photos, we won't ever have any tangible evidence of our younger years. Sure, they are on our phones, but they can be gone in an instant, and who knows what retouching has been done on each photo (yes, we are all guilty of it).
It is so easy to print photos today, whether you send them off to a drugstore to be printed for a super low price (make sure to use those coupon codes!) or you print them at home on photo paper, there is no excuse to not have at least a few printed photos around. With the resurgence of Polaroid cameras in recent times, it is obvious that the retro trend is popular, and printed photos are so fun and mean a lot more than just a tag on Instagram.
I would love for my future kids and grandkids to be going through boxes of my old photos from college and laughing at my outfits or hair, or admiring how much fun I had.
Instead, I picture future kids not caring about old photos, or just swiping through them on a phone. It's convenient to have a lifetime of memories on a tiny device, but it is just not the same feel as the nostalgia you get from a printed photo.
A trend of printing photos will probably not catch on anytime soon for people in the younger generations, but I really think being mindful of the fond memories and stories that come with each photo should be available on more than just a little phone screen. Next time you take a super cute picture, go ahead and post it to Instagram, but maybe consider starting a folder of favorites to have printed so you can put them in a box to rediscover in a few years. You definitely won't regret it.