You can take as many pictures as you want with a smartphone. One of my friends has over 100,000 from the last decade on her iPhone! So, in 100 years, our descendants will have far more pictures of us than we ever had of our ancestors because of all this technology, right? 

Wait! I’m not so sure. 

Technology is amazing, especially when it comes to cameras. You don’t have to sit and pose for 15 minutes to take a single photo like people did in the 1890s. You can document everything you do, see, and eat anytime and anywhere. 

But it can be far easier to lose thousands of digital photos than it was for our ancestors to lose just a dozen physical pictures.

  • You stored all your photographs on CDs (that today laptops don’t have ports for anymore)
  • All your photos ended up on an old computer that, nowadays, runs slower than paint dries 
  • The device that all your pictures are on—phone, computer—broke
  • Your favorite photos got lost in a sea of thousands of non-important ones

Technology changes so fast that storage methods are usually outdated in just a few years. CDs, VHS tapes, old computers, or hard drives might not even be usable in just a decade, let alone a century. 

So, what can you do? 

  1. Every year, pick your favorite 5, 10, or 50 pictures, however many you want. 
  2. Go to your local drug store—you can print them out for just a few cents apiece. 
  3. For bonus points, take the afternoon, go through them, and label them! You don’t need to write an essay on the back of each picture but include essential details like who’s pictured, location, and date. Not only will your descendants be grateful for the detail, but even you might get foggy on the specifics ten years out! 

This way, you’ll never lose your most precious memories, no matter where technology goes next. You’ll get the best of both worlds—infinite, instant photographs that survive the test of time. Not only that, but your children, grandchildren, and beyond will have a far better chance of seeing your life through pictures than they would if it never leaves today’s modern storage system. 

Jack Palmer has done genealogy research since he was ten years old and loves writing about it for family, friends, and anybody else who might enjoy research stories and advice. He graduated from Duke University in May 2023, majoring in History and Psychology, and is the author of Helen & Frank: A Biography, a biography about his great-grandparents.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply