Printed (some faded) Photographs
One evening a few days ago, I found Monica and the rest of the kids having a grand time looking at photographs scattered on the floor–all unsorted out. These were the bag of pictures I remember having brought with me to Beijing in 2000 where I had a 6-month posting. I thought, with the 180 days I had all by myself, I would be able to put them together at least in photo albums, at most doing scrapbooks for each of my 7 kids. Six months did pass me by, they came home with me–at least sorted out for each family member but not in an album nor in a scrap book, as part of my kilos and kilos of unaccompanied luggage that came together with all the other stuff that I accumulated from endles shopping in Beijing and other parts of the Peoples Republic of China.
The kids were so delighted to look at the photographs, in between reminiscing the stories related to each picture, and the different emotions attached–funny, embarrassing, high and low moments, proud moments, and many more. I was one person who would photograph each move, at any time of night and day, candid, directed, and in the process spending a lot of my money having them developed. It was difficult for them to identify which baby was which for photos that had no date, but for me it was easy. I still remember how each of them were when they were babies and tiny tots, each child different from the other, having his or her own special traits. They had a great time teasing me with the way I looked, from hair style, to being fat, to looking lost or older, to the choice of clothes I wore–good thing was that, they liked the way I look in the present, though some wanted my youthful looking face.
They ended up, each holding a couple of pictures–their favorites, and the few days afterwards, I saw them scanning the photos-converted to digital photos, and uploading them in their Multiply and Friendster accounts. They treated them like they were their most precious finds, their treasures.
Which reminds me…
about the thousands and thousands of digital photos among me and my kids kept in different social networks, like Mutilpy, Friendster, Facebook, etc., and the other hosts like Photobucket and Flickr. Surprisingly, I found more than a hundred photo sharing hosts here.
What happens with my digital photos when I die? Especially those that are in private accounts? Yes, they are securely in place now because I know where I keep them for viewing by private friends and contacts. They are there, that is for as long as I live, or for as long as I have the ability to work on the computer. I have heard of some hosts just shutting down, though.
And to think that since a few years back, I have not had the time to print out the photos, even those that were taken on special occasions, like birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, different milestones and my numerous travels. It is very handy to just open the computer and look at the digital photos. Now my mother, some of my aunts and family members who do not use the computer complain that they no longer see photos and that they can no longer show off photos of their children and grandchildren, their achievements and happy moments with kin and kith. True, and rather selfish sometimes.
Nothing is certain in this life, we do not know what is in store for us tomorrow. If I die, and I do not leave the user names and passwords to my family, the digital photos will be burried with me. Or on a less grim scenario, what if the hard disk where digital photos are kept crashes (sad to say, it has happened one time or another) or the discs where they are stored get lost. The digital photos are gone forever.
What will happen with the photos of our future national heroes, presidents,and icons, if all of them are in digitalized forms, all kept in the individual repositories?
Printed and hard copies
Angelo has written about his apprehensions on trusting memories to a web app and he has a point. I have also written about rediscovering the joy of hard or printed copies, such that I would now like to print a handful of photos. Now I need time to look for these pictures. I must find some time to organize them, as BA and the rest of the kids have been suggesting.
I am no computer or gadget savvy, but these are just some of my apprehensions. Will I include my user names and passwords in my last will and testament? Or do I need to start a family repository, storing all the links in one place, where the family members could access, and which could be passed on from one generation to another? Oh great idea–I can start another network, somthing that has to do with a family repository of links, not only to digital photographs, but to written products as well, like blogs, websites or significant links from others, to have them available from one generation to the next.
How about you, do you have a bright idea to share?
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