Will your Generation be Lost because of Digital Files?

What is the first thing you would grab should your home catch on fire?

Clients would tell me it is their pictures! But for Generation Xer's (ages 30-44) that may not be possible. Why? That age group is no longer printing photographs (according to PPA article "A lost Generation Survey"). Most now store their photos solely in digital form on their computer or phone.

According to some this group is being called the "Lost Generation." Years from now, maybe a decade, these people will look back and wonder where photos of their lives growing up have gone? A very likely possibility is that the photos in digital form are now lost, corrupt, or cannot be accessed with current technology.

Think about it. You accidentally drop your phone in water. Gone are your images. Is backing up your images to your computer's hard drive a good idea? Yes. But still hard drives typically last 3 to 5 years. And so they can crash and you will again loose all your images. And God forbid you have a fire! Are you going to grab your computer system before running out the door?

Lastly, the technology that you currently view your images with may not be around 10 years from now! A good example is 3 and 1/2 inch floppy disks. The drives are no longer available. Apple Computers is now selling computers without a DVD drive!! Someday in the future they may disappear as well!

According to Google VP & Internet Pioneer Vint Cerf,  "future generations will wonder about us, but will have difficulty knowing us."

"We digitize things because we think we will preserve them, but what we don't understand is that unless we take other steps, those digital versions may not be any better, and may even be worse, than the artifacts that we digitized."

As a professional photographer I have a regular backup schedule and back up several copies of my images to different media and keep in separate locations in case of fire. I upgrade and recopy to those same images when new technology becomes available. I don't recommend it to the average consumer.

The caveman wrote on clay that turned to stone to preserve his history. Our modern day clay is paper and canvas. You only have to visit your local museum to know that fact.

Here is what I recommend for archiving your images:

  • Photos that you really care about, have them printed!!
  • Purchase albums to put them in for safe keeping.
  • Enlarge photos and put them in frames for decoration in your home.

This I consider the best way to archive your cherished memories of family and friends for the future and will keep your generation from being Lost!

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Thanks,

Dave Likes