Who still remembers Xanga and Myspace? These are the social media platforms that taught some of us how to express ourselves on a perfectly curated page, designed with the right song, aesthetic look, and profile picture to match it. I used to go back and visit those pages long after they were uncool just to revisit younger me.
Before social media, there were the good old fashioned photo albums — the heavy books with the clear sticky sleeves that held photos and years of precious memories. It seems like a practice from long ago, but truly timeless. When was the last time you printed some pictures? We rely on social media to hold our albums and memories, as if they will always be there in our pockets. We rarely put much thought into the possibility of losing them all.
What will happen when these platforms disappear, or you get hacked? I know of women who have documented their fertility journeys, life accomplishments, world travels, businesses, and precious memories on platforms like Instagram and Facebook and quickly lost access to it all because they got hacked. It happened to me. The fact that I truly thought I had full control of my social media accounts and everything I stored in them is what inspired me to write about it.
Many people create well thought out feeds on their social media platforms that hold both emotional and monetary value to them. In an ideal world, these memories will live in our hearts for many years. But, those memories can be lost quicker than anticipated. I want to do my part in preserving memories for my family and the generations to come. Here are some simple steps you can take.
Backup your photos on an online album like Google or Amazon.
If you take photos from your phone this is an easy transfer from phone to app. Google photos and Prime photos are very user friendly, making it easy to organize and to do simple edits. Once your photos are uploaded, you can take it a step further and save them to a USB drive and store them in a safe box. You may not be inspired to do anything with hard copies of the pictures, but if you ever are, you have them available in multiple places.
Print the pictures.
You don’t have to be crafty to keep pictures in a box to pull out at family gathering or to display at special events. You can also send pictures directly to printers like Walgreens, CVS, or Costco from your phone.
Make a real album directly from your phone.
There are many apps and online options where you can upload your photos, create an album and have it delivered to your house. You’ll have it displayed on your coffee table in no time.
I think about my son and the day that he starts to bring friends to our home, the day he falls in love, and maybe even the day he brings his family home, too. I want him to pull out those old albums and make new memories flipping through them. It’s about the little moments frozen in time and the ability to hold them in my hands. I want to know that no matter what life changes come my way, those moments captured in the photos can’t be changed.