Having been an iPhone owner for a whopping 9 days now, I already can’t imagine going back to lugging around my bulky, heavy camera when I have high-quality photo and video capabilities right in my phone. Especially considering how easy it is to instantly upload photos and videos to Facebook.
With digital camera technology to blame, parents today have more photo memories of their kids than they know what to do with. Most moms and dads I know frequently lament how they have no printed photos of their kids, and how that’s in stark contrast to how it was when they were little.
I still remember my very first camera – the Kodak Disk. My mom would say to me, “You can take whatever pictures you want, but keep in mind you are limited to 15 total. Use those 15 wisely.”
She’d buy me a new disk of film whenever we had an upcoming vacation or holiday, and it never failed that I used up 13 of the 15 photos within the first 72 hours of slapping the film into my camera. As soon as the special event had passed, my mom would so kindly take my disk to the local Wolf Camera store, and of those 15 photos, probably about 5 were anything worth keeping.
As I aged (and had a better handle on what actually was photo-worthy), cameras improved. By the time high school came, my parents had albums full of dance recitals, soccer games, Homecomings and proms. Then enter college – and the infamous sorority and fraternity date parties – and my photo books suddenly were overflowing with pictures emblazoned with gold foil Greek letters, followed by the words “Formal” and “Kamanawanalaya.” These photos never amounted to much more than obnoxious smiles and I’m-going-to-hug-you-so-hard-we’ll-look-like-conjoined-twins poses (always with arms reaching out to the side or straight down to the ground, in an effort to hide our cups of beer from the camera).
When I moved out and got married, my mom sent along boxes full of albums. Flash-forward 10 years and 2 kids later, and I might open those albums from time to time to reminisce or if I get together with old friends. But – really – what am I supposed to do with all those old memories?
And bar crawls?
And spring break trips?
What if my kids were to find them?
Those old boyfriends aren’t daddy, and they’ve never once seen me as glammed up as I got every Friday and Saturday night to go out.
And what about all those photos from friends’ 21st birthday parties? Like the time the girls who lived in that off-campus house ordered a stripper named Shawn Til Dawn for their roommate’s birthday. I was the sorority president at the time, so after the Birthday Girl was good and embarrassed, *I* became the focus of the crowd.
Chanting my name and throwing money in my direction, the next thing I knew, I had my legs wrapped around the waist of an overly-tanned, overly-”stuffed” man wearing nothing but a G-string.
What should a mom do about memories (and photo proof) like that?
Thank goodness iPhones and Facebook weren’t invented yet.
Do you still have photos from high school and college? Have you thought about what you will and won’t let your kids see?