Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Photo Albums

Now a day’s everybody is going digital with everything. I find myself asking: Is this a good thing?
It seems to me that people who do their billing, banking, picture taking, writing, communication and filming all digitally are just one Super Virus away from becoming nobody. I don’t read much science fiction, but I’m sure that there is some author somewhere who has addressed the issue of a technologically advanced species that lost everything in a major power shortage, and everybody was reduced to a very primitive way of living. These people forgot who they were and where they came from and went back to telling stories about gods who control everything that happens, because that will seem more logical than microorganisms, atoms and neutrons. Because these people forgot their own histories they became in essence, nothing…

I’m not about to go into all of that, I’m not predicting that something like that will happen, I’m just planning upon making a smaller point, that will demonstrate that going digital is not necessarily a good thing.


I love my families albums, I love being able to just sit down and remember things that happened, and even the things that I was too young to remember, I like to imagine that I can. I’m not capable of relating how much these albums mean to my family and I. The ability to recount events and recall old conversations and events that we shared together helps us stay strong as a family, and helps bring forth our individuality.
Another thing I don’t think I could ever live without is our old family portraits. I can’t remember a time when Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Mezzano didn’t gaze down at me from a wall in my families home. Although I never met them, it’s a constant and comforting reminder that I am a part of a family; that a piece of those two people lives in me, and I feel as if as long as they hang on the wall, they will always be alive as well.
I feel similarly about the photo albums, except they have me and people that I know and have met in them, I can’t help but feel as long as they are there, I will always live on. My history and my story will always be there for someone else to see long after I’m gone. It gives me a sense of long lasting security. I will never disappear. I will always be there in those happy, or angry, or frustrating moments, it’s captured right there in that second.

Now this digital thing, I’m afraid of it quite frankly. I walk into people’s houses and there isn’t a single picture on the wall. Not a family portrait, or a school picture. It’s like these people are ghosts, these homes feel as empty and as expressionless as a hotel room. I immediately feel alien from these people; there isn’t a sign of them anywhere!
So when I hear that people have gone digital and their kids are rebelling against it, my immediate reaction is: “of course they are!! Why wouldn’t they?”
They’re growing up like ghosts. No wait, if they were ghosts, they would have a past, and they would be clinging to it. These children are without a past. When you’re growing up, you are constantly wondering “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?” It’s in human nature to ask these questions. To have a past gives you your identity, something that can never be stolen from you. Photos in easily accessible albums, and hanging on the walls were children can see it gives them a sense of security.
Growing up I know that man on the wall is my Great Grandpa. I know that my Great Grandpa immigrated to this country and married my Great Grandma. That's the greatest feeling in the world: to know that there is a place for you; to know that you are an essential member of a family. Even though they never met me, I am a part of my grandparents lineage, and they mine.
Humans need that sense of belonging, which is why it makes perfect sense that the kids are rebelling against the going-digital thing. What doesn’t make sense is the adult’s immediate willingness to strip themselves of their identity in their own homes.

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