Picture? What picture? If you are referring to photographs, I wonder if you’ve received any pictures of babies, nieces, nephews or grandkids lately. Or did you get an email with attachments that you leave on your computer or cell phone? When you have a lunch date or attend a party, do people show you pictures in their wallets or flash their cell phone to slide over the pictures? Or do you hear things like this – especially from the grandparents who may not be resident ‘digital natives’ from the Z Generation?
- This is my grandsom when he was 10 – his parents haven’t sent any recent photos.
- Her wedding album was online – no, we didn’t get any photos. And I was in the wedding.
- There’s lots of pictures of the kids on Facebook. But we don’t do Facebook.
- We bought a bunch of photo albums on sale but we don’t have any pictures.
- No, I didn’t see her cell phone pictures – we don’t have that feature on our cell phone.
- I never learned how to download or open pictures or send them on the cell phone.
- Once I learn how to do it, it will become obsolete and will have to learn all over again.
In 2012, USA Today sponsored an online contest for readers to choose the name of the next generation after the Millenniums and it was suggested that some might call them Generation Z” rather “off-putting” and a name that is “still in-the-running. Some alternate names were proposed including: iGeneration, Gen Tech, Gen Wii, Net Gen, Digital Natives, Gen Next, Post Gen, and Plurals.
Wikipedia also offers: “Most of the traits that will define this generation have yet to emerge. However, many are highly connected, having had lifelong use of communication and media technology like the World Wide Web, instant messaging, text messaging MP3 players, mobile phones and tablets, earned them the nickname “digital native.”. Pew Research tells us the percentage of cell phone owners who use their devices to access the Internet has more than doubled since 2009, and ‘82% of cell phone users take pictures with their cell phones over cameras’. (And that was 7 years ago)! Since then, we now have Instagram and Cloud Storage.
Our family has many photos from the early 1900s through the late 1900s. They are wonderful memories and eventually passed down to the kids. Some of them are on our walls and mantels, giving us ever-changing look-a-likes of the people or scenes within them. Sometimes they look like different family members over time, they remind us of the time and place they were taken. Sometimes we notice things we missed the first time we saw them.
Photographs are priceless. Some people put them in safes or vaults for protection against fires – that’s how much they are valued. Sadly, they are decreasing quickly. How do we protect photographs on CDs or DVDs which eventually may become obsolete like much technology ends up or access them from a broken computer or disabled cell phone?
Today’s digital natives are into selfies and photobombing. Not my photo album kind of memories.
Marie Coppola Revised October 2016