What Grinds Our Gears: Photo albums are falling by the wayside

How will we prove our youth and hotness to our kids?

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Old dusty photo album
Holding onto nostalgia one 4x6 at a time. ILLUSTRATION: Jaimin Bai / The Peak

By Hannah Kazemi, Peak Associate

Growing up, I loved pulling out my mom’s photo albums and looking at her pictures. I loved seeing how she did her hair in the 80s and dressed in the 90s. I’ve been to places I don’t even remember, but the photos I have will always remind me.

I recently had the alarming thought that my kids might never get to experience that feeling. They’ll never get to live vicariously through photos of my adventures!

I feel like a super boomer by saying this, but I think smartphones are killing photo albums.

Don’t get me wrong — I love my phone and its ability to store thousands of photos and videos. And I love that I can take fake film pictures and use an old-timey filter on them. 

And that’s all nice, but the storage is ephemeral. What the fuck is the “cloud?” What if I lose my phone and nothing is backed up? What if my accounts change and I can’t access anything in thirty years? What happens when Facebook and Instagram go out of business in 2028?? How will I prove to my kids that I was young, cool, and hot once??!! 

We shouldn’t be so quick to move past photo albums. My kids deserve to know I was once young and cool and hot, and because of these photo albums, they will! I’ll keep them in a closet collecting dust until I decide to relive my 20s and show them all of the adventures I’ve been on, the people I knew, and the person I was and I can’t wait for that day.