Thursday, November 4, 2010

Memories in a Digital Age!

It’s been a strange time. Where did October go and now, November is upon us—and it’s only weeks until the holidays. I’m not ready for the end of the first decade! 

My sister’s big birthday is coming up and my daughter wanted some photographs. I got out my old school trunk of neatly organized photo albums. As I poured through them and was instantly transported back through time. Those memories were tangible. I could feel them. I was back there—as a young girl at the beach with her Cindy doll (I’m British – Barbie was regarded as a bit of a tart), holding my first dog Snuffles at age 8 (who had just thrown up on my coat), a disastrous camping expedition in the Girl Guides where I was told off for sticking a wooden stick in a cowpat, a wild time in Cardiff as a rookie reporter with friends who, now I’ve seen their laughing faces again, I’m determined to track down. My daughter’s first steps 26 years ago, wonderful memories of Africa and endless, endless photos of my first ever trip to Disneyland (what was I thinking?) 

I could go on and on but what struck me most was that these past five years I’ve kept all my memories on iPhoto. If I do look at them, it’s more of a quick skim. I don’t relive the memory at all. It’s not the same as leafing through dusty albums, each page promising a surprise. I’ve also noticed that I take dozens of photos with digital cameras because the bad ones can be erased. Yes, I’m making myself sound old, but there was something magical about getting your photos back from the developer to see how—and in my case, if—they came out. 

What about you? Do you still keep photo albums or are you an iPhoto fan? Do you think a part of our memory is erased too in the Digital Age? 

Photo: Christmas 1977


  1. I have been slogging through photos stuffed in everything from actual albums to shoeboxes since the process of clearing out the family home began, when my father passed. Funny, embarassing, homesick, where are they now?, 'just who the hell was I taking a photo of here?' or 'where or why the heck was I anyway?' abound.

    But there is a relief in knowing, as I scan and scan and scan and scan-that I can go to one source to look for 'that photo'. If my flash drive implodes or I lose it....well same can be said of the browning, tattered and torn actual photos.

    But isn't it something to rediscover all those times past, yes it is.

  2. I really love tripping down memory lane. My daughter created an album for my mother's 80th (just like your wonderful photos from Atlantic City) - so many I hadn't seen. Photographs are wonderful things (except when you're tagged on Facebook by a nephew who looks hot in his surfing gear and you're still in pajamas.