As of September 2013, an average of more than 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day. (1) Over 60 million photos are uploaded to Instagram each day. (2) Smartphones are outselling cameras ten to one. (3)
With the explosion of digital technology, our lives are chronicled and shared at a frenzied pace that previous generations could never have imagined. In less than 30 seconds, we can capture a shot and share it with all of our social networks. And we all know that a photo on the Internet is forever, right?
In many ways, yes.
But in many ways… no.
How will our children know our stories if we fail to capture them in ways that really last?
Leaving photos in cyberspace and on hard drives means that we’re in danger of losing them all. Scrapbooking, traditionally or digitally, is a great way to pass along our history to future generations. It’s also a way to share about what God has done and how He has blessed us along the way.
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
I often sit overwhelmed at the task of sorting and editing the vast quantities of digital images I’ve accumulated in recent years.
I look back and fondly remember the days when chronicling a special event meant taking a roll or two of film to the drug store and putting the prints into an inexpensive, adhesive album. Sure, I would eventually begin to take more… four or five rolls. Soon, I was taking ten rolls during vacation and filling an entire photo album. And then it happened: the Creative Memories’ years. The pressure to make every page into an arts and crafts masterpiece, complete with journaling that “had” to be in my own handwriting, was more than I could handle. I purchased stickers and papers galore, attended crops and workshops… and celebrated when I finished two pages at a time. Soon I was spending more money on storage tubs for photos and scrapbooking paraphernalia than I was on the photos themselves.
And then… we entered the digital world and I was shooting the equivalent of a hundred rolls of film during a vacation. As my photos stacked up in bins and on my hard drive, I transitioned to digital scrapbooking and realized that I had finally found my niche. But without a physical stack of prints sitting on my desk, the task is easily pushed off to another day.
I still get overwhelmed at the task of sorting through thousands (and thousands) of digital photos. And I’ve let several years get away from me, but I’m resolved to chronicle our family’s stories for my children. I want them to know what God has done for us and to remember His blessings that have been poured down upon us. And I plan to use digital storytelling and scrapbooking projects to tell that tale.
My goal for the rest of 2014 is to build stone towers for my children.
Will you join me?