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HAPPY MEMORIES: time to start printing those treasured memories

by Paul Gorry, MD, Stampin’ Up! UK

HUGE numbers of disabled and older people may be missing out on the benefits of the digital age. But they may well be the ones who end up with a smile on their faces . . .

Last week, people all over the globe were asked to celebrate World Photo Day, the annual event that aspires to create positive change in the world through photography.

Such well-intentioned initiatives are to be applauded, but this year’s event also served as a stimulus to remind people to share and safeguard significant moments and memories.

Today, most people take photographs on their smartphones. The trouble with this is that once captured, few people get around to printing their images or uploading them to other platforms.

Trends indicate that our phones are becoming our primary storage devices – to the concern of many.

Internet pioneer and Google Vice-President Vint Cerf has been quoted as saying that the 21st century could become a second “Dark Age” because so much data is now kept in digital format.

His argument is that future generations would struggle to understand our society because technology is advancing so quickly that old files will be inaccessible.

His solution is clear – “If there are pictures that you really care about then creating a physical instance is probably a good idea. Print them out, literally.”

People are taking notice, understanding that if our phones disappear, so do our photos and our precious memories.

The answer is to get creative.

As a nation we are taking our making and baking extremely seriously, to the extent that Britain’s crating economy is now worth over £3 billion.

When it comes to photographs and memory keeping we are returning to old-school, hard-copy values and capturing our milestone moments in evermore beautiful ways.

The latest trends take the best of photo albums and the best of scrapbooking creativity and combine them to create physical documents that trigger far more emotion than swiping through digitised images on a phone-screen.

Pictures and text combine, captured alongside items such as ticket-stubs, restaurant receipts, pressed flowers, love-letters – the tangible evidence of the very best of times.

It isn’t a case of digital or physical. The two can co-exist very happily, and sites such as Pinterest and Instagram deliver much in terms of convenience and the ability to reach out to people quickly.

But if photos and memories only exist in digital form then we are losing so much.

Having a hard-copy record of memories not only safeguards these moments forever, it encourages them to be shared and discussed, to be pored over and laughed over.

By getting creative, we can document our lives in a way that can be passed down to future generations.

No password need be remembered to access these journals of a life well lived.