Great Advancements in Photo Sharing Opportunities
I remember a time when sitting down to watch a slide show was very literal. It meant clicking through cartridges of slides, one at a time as the projector hummed in the background of a dimly lit room…except for the screen at the front which was intermittently cast with a blinding white light between each transition of the slides. I always hoped no one would sneeze in the middle of the slideshow because I found it so disturbing to watch the spray illuminated by the projector light spread across the room. There was slideshow etiquette to be followed: stay quiet to hear the narrator (usually Dad) caption each slide, don’t open any doors to the outside or you may have a room full of people have their attention diverted momentarily and try not to chuckle (or sigh) when the slide cartridge jams up for the 12th time in 10 minutes. Ahhh, yes…those were the days!
Then came scrapbooks. I must admit, I only created one rudimentary scrapbook and abruptly stopped after realizing that one could easily spend a paycheck at Michael’s shopping for Mickey-shaped die-cuts, Disney themed stickers and birthday “bling” for a single page that takes 2 months to create. Did I mention that the page contains more stickers than actual pictures?
Although these handmade scrapbooks are usually lovingly created by mom or Grandma, just like any other photo album, it won’t stand the test of time. The photos will eventually fade, they can’t be shared with anyone unless they are sitting next to you and they take up a large amount of space considering the small number of photos they actually contain. Now that I’ve offended every scrapbooker out there, I will concede to one thing: having something handmade by a loved one is special, there’s no doubt about that. As tattered as it is now from multiple moves, my husband still has his scrapbook made by his grandmother documenting all the childhood adventures he experienced. It will always be special.
And so, we enter the social media era. Oh, how we love Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and for some of you…even Google+. Social media allows us to share every moment of our lives, no matter how incredible or incredibly monotonous those moments can be. We have apps to help us share photos with thousands of people at the click of a button, photo sharing sites that let us create gifts from photos and phones that are capable of pulling double-duty as cameras. This is the time when we are advancing our technology at such a fast pace that changes occur on a near daily basis. Just ask all those disgruntled folks who complain about the frequent Facebook changes or the iPhone user already needing to buy the newest phone just a couple of months after purchasing their first one. I think though, that when it comes to technology, change is exciting. Change is good.
But, what does social media lack? It doesn’t tell a story. I have over 50 photo albums sitting on my Facebook profile, and sure, you could go back in my timeline and see my posts that correlate to those pictures. But it isn’t moving. And I don’t mean physically moving, I mean emotionally moving; that’s where the photo slideshow comes into play. Photos and music brought together are a powerful force. To see a collection of our best and most meaningful photos set to music holds so much more significance than scanning through a Facebook or Flickr album.
To compare video slideshows with the old school slideshows, well there is no comparison! The only hum you will hear while watching a digital photo slideshow is you while you hum along with the music and you don’t have to lock yourself in a dark room to view it! Comparing video slideshows to a scrapbook is a little harder, but only for sentimental reasons. One day, those scrapbooks will start to fall apart, stickers will lose their stick, bling will break, and the pictures behind them all will end up needing to be rescued. So, it all comes down to the value of a digital image and how we can use it to create something meaningful, memorable, and lasting that can be shared with your loved ones. You decide.