Hi! I'm Tanner.

I'm a software engineer at Apple. I write here occassionally.

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Technological Historification

Over the Thanksgiving break, families across the United States gathered for a time of thanksgiving and for a time of reunion. A time to make amends and to be thankful for what we have. Some may choose the time to reflect on the past by browsing through scrapbooks and photo albums. Scrapbooks and photo albums. The old ways of archiving our lives.

Why do I say the “old ways of archiving our lives”? Well, because scrapbooks and photo albums, these analog formats if you will, are strikingly out of date and out of use. For starters, when is the last time anyone in my generation has made or looked through a photo album or a scrapbook? I for one have not touched either of these items in years. I have even been given an empty photo album for my collection of pictures yet it lies empty on my desk at home.

What do we do instead of using these seemingly ancient forms of history? We use Flickr, Google Picasa, iPhoto, and other technologies to store and display our photos. No longer do we have to be in the same physical space to share our history and moments in our past. We share our monumental moments by the transmission of bits and bytes rather than the word of mouth and finger-pointing. What is to blame for this? I would have to say the invention of the digital camera. No longer do we have to take our cameras to the store to get developed and wait a few hours (days?) while the process of developing happens. All we have to do now is plug our camera into our computer and instantly our photos available for viewing by the masses and even printing. Even the time of the instant camera (e.g. a Polaroid camera) has come and passed.

If the time of the photo album and scrapbook has come and gone and the time of the digital photo album is upon us, what will the future bring? Will the time of sharing photos and moments on the internet die out one day? Will there be a superior archival technological advancement in the coming days? What do you think?