Preserving Memories in the Social Media Age

You’ve almost certainly experienced the thrill of seeing an old photograph of yourself with friends or loved ones. And if you’ve ever watched an elderly person’s eyes light up as they’ve leafed through an old photo album, you can imagine how important those memories will be to you years and years from now. As people grow older, their homes become rich in photo albums and framed photographs — or, at least, that’s how it used to be.

These days, we take more photos than ever. But we don’t always take as much care to preserve those photos as our parents and grandparents would have. We snap photos for social media, including in apps that delete those photos moments later. That’s okay, to an extent, not every photo belongs in the Louvre. But you don’t have to let all of your photos slide into the past on social media. You can and should preserve those memories here in the real world, too.

The power of photographs, keepsakes, and other memory vehicles

You don’t necessarily need an object around to remember good times that you had. But having an object like a photograph certainly helps. The difference is measurable: studies show that we can remember moments more powerfully when we jog our memories with an object or photograph.

As you grow older, this will matter more to you. You’ll have more memories to manage, and an aging mind managing it. Your treasured memories will mean even more to you then than they do now. And your space will feel happier and more beautiful when you are surrounded by things that evoke your best memories, including photographs.

Social media and “real” photos

Social media may be part of the reason that our photos and other memories seem to slip away, but that doesn’t mean that there are not ways to use social media to care for our memories. In fact, social media can have a positive effect on our ability to hold onto such memories.

That’s because social media encourages us to take photographs. And it has never been easier to do so: most of us carry around smartphones in this day and age, and a typical smartphone has a built-in camera that is as powerful as many consumer-market digital cameras were years ago. Smartphone cameras even stack up pretty well against modern digital cameras. You’re always ready to take a photo, and you frequently do take it then post it on social media.

Social media preserves those photographs in one place, but you can preserve them in real life by getting them printed on high quality photo paper and framed — or, better yet, by having the photograph turned into a classy canvas print. There are companies that offer custom canvases and even ones that specialize in Instagram canvas prints, so transforming your social media photography into a real-world object is a breeze.

Using a service like this, you can add a beautiful piece of art to your walls with the help of your own social media presence. You’ll be able to return to that memory at any time, and without having to log onto Instagram or another social media platform and dig back through old posts. Since social media can be unhealthy for us — Instagram especially — it’s useful to have a way to enjoy your own photographs without having to log into an app that shows you so many unhealthy images of other people’s lives.

In the era of social media, life moves fast. We post about things and then forget them. Our photographs slip into a back-catalog of social media snaps and posts that we are unlikely to ever really revisit in the way our parents or grandparents would use a photo album. You should choose to give your memories a more permanent tribute, and you can use your social media habits — along with the right printing services — to do just that.

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