If you’re going off on some sort of summer holiday soon, chances are you are intending to take a few photos of your highlights. Even without holidays or special occasions, it turns out that we Brits take an average 2 billion photos each and every week!
What you do with them and to some extent how you actually take them, will reveal a whole lot about how you view pictures as part of your living history and what you propose to do about accessing them years from now.
The Selfie Rules
It seems that more and more people like self-taken images of themselves (and perhaps one or two others close friends alongside) shot by their own cameras or phones held at arm’s length.
Samsung looked at data from research by One Poll which reckoned 30% of pictures taken by the 18-24 age range are ‘selfies’.
They deduced that more men than women do it this way. But almost two thirds of all picture takers in this age bracket take and keep those pictures on computers, tablets or smartphones and over half preferred to effectively store them on Facebook.
Fewer and fewer, it seems, choose to keep them in any sort of physical album. The age of digital sharing has signalled the demise of holding physical photos. Sharing at instant speed is best served by posting online, of course. Developing or printing off pictures is tiresome, slow, costly and incompatible with instant sharing.
It would have been interesting to have comparable stats for older age groups, including those oldies who are digitally savvy.
Digital Black Holes
In another survey related to storing visual memories, Maplins discovered that about 75% of people thought losing ‘treasured snapshots through a technological mishap as the worst digital nightmare.’ 37% of users asked said they had suffered precisely that disaster.
Maplins thought millions of people never backed up their precious family and friends’ images while others just don’t know how to protect their digital albums.
Many would not ever or rarely trust web-based back-up such as Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud for photos, videos and documents. Others were ‘unconfident’ in their expertise to properly use datasticks or external hard drives.
Maplin’s chief executive, John Clelland, explained that modern technology has moved so fast that ‘our ability to save, store and protect our data’ has not kept pace with our desire to create that data.
He said too many people trust to luck that they won’t have a hi-tech trauma, fire, theft or hacking issue. Maplins thought the average person has 1200 digital photos somewhere. That’s a hell of a lot of images at risk, most of which are irreplaceable.
Return to Old Methods?
Some concerned users have started to reverse recent trends of the death of traditional photography. The Ilford black and white brand reported declining sales bottoming out and posted record profits last year of over £2 million.
So, is there room for some old fashioned albums which all ages love to flip through to stir up all sorts of memories about growing up on more people’s shelves now?
Talk to MailBigFile about storing and/or transmitting your precious data. In the meantime, you might want to think about how to access your snaps in ten or twenty years’ time, when digital has become something else again.
Memories of old relevant blogs revisited:
Does the Past Matter When We’re All Going Forwards? 15 July 2013
Forward to the Past as Polaroids Make a Comeback, 25 March 2013
Life-Logging Is Not the Harmless Fun It’s Portrayed to Be, 6 February 2013
Facebook Is Bad for Your Health, But Good For Your Self-Esteem, 29 January 2013
Friends, Favourites, Choices and Other Myths of the Digital Era, 22 October 2012