Estimating is difficult, but several studies point to more people taking more than 1 trillion photos annually. A significant number of these photos are taken by joyful parents capturing their kid’s adventures and silliness. All these photos represent a massive amount of digital content. For parents in 2020 and beyond, most captured memories reside as digital files. They might print the occasional photo book or stack of photos, but the bulk of the images remain in computers or thumb drives. Confronted by the sheer size and scope of these images, how can parents preserve, organize, and protect their digital memories? Here are several tips, including descriptions of various apps and platforms that make it easier to preserve moments in time.
Pick a Reputable Storage Company
A first step for parents is to improve the ways they store their digital photos. Keeping thousands on a laptop or leaving photos in a memory card is not the way to go. One spill of apple juice and potentially years of memories are erased from these devices.
Backing up files to a reputable cloud-based provider is essential. And make “backups of the backup”, so if you use a Dropbox account for your main storage receptacle, consider buying an external hard drive as well as a backup. Both physical and cloud-based storage is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the importance of preserving memories.
Go the Social Route
Facebook and other social platforms work as sharing platforms, although many parents hesitate to share too many photos of their kids because of privacy concerns associated with the way these companies mine user data. Some platforms such as Facebook allow users to create private groups and restrict sharing with family members such as grandparents or cousins. It’s a universally accessible way to collect and share photos in the cloud. Parents should also periodically copy all their Facebook photos and back them up to Dropbox or another cloud provider to protect against accidental deletion and account for longer term accessibility.
Use a Photo-Sharing App
There are photo-sharing apps that help parents to organize their photos and provide some context to the moment’s captured in image. Qeepsake is a SMS-based tool that prompts parents to think about their kids and attach words and images to their responses. For example, the Qeepsake app might ask parents via text “What did Megan do this week that was amazing?” Megan’s parents respond to the text, and this entry is kept on the app as part of a broader journal. It’s a fun combination of images and content, that pushes parents to add some humor or insights to a picture.
Uncover Interesting Genealogies
With sites such as Ancestry.com, parents can develop family trees that help them connect their kids to the family’s prior generations. This is a different kind of memory sharing than the other storage-focused approaches, but it provides parents and kids with a unique way to view their family history. If photographs of great grandparents are available, and grandparents have photos of when they were little, then parents and their kids can enjoy spotting facial similarities. An eight-year-old might love to hear they “have great aunt Gladys’ nose!” and other revelations as they explore genealogies over time.
New Platforms with a “Hybrid” Approach
There is a new soon to be released platform, Leavemark, that is a social media, data storage and genealogy hybrid, which offers parents a way to securely and privately share memories immediately or in the future. Its goal is to combine the best of the above applications and its ad-free. The platform is designed for managing and cataloguing images over different generations. It includes an archive with advanced searching and filtering functions, to make it much easier to locate images in a way that makes sense for the individual user. A fun “time capsule” feature means parents can send a message and imagery to their kids in six months or 16 years. This unique feature captures the essence of saving and sharing digital memories effectively, with the ability to hold onto and bring back precious moments.