When I checked my camera roll this morning, I winced: There are 91,505 photos on it, a sky-high number that’s made possible only by the $10 a month I pay for Apple’s cloud storage services. (“Worth every penny,” my photographer friend convinced me years ago.)
But a recent piece in the New York Times got me thinking: While I can, in theory, call up my digital memories at a moment’s notice, what would I do if—poof—something happened and all my photographic memories were gone?
To be fair, I’m a member of a certain generation with a photo library that spans two very different organizational eras. I’ve got shoeboxes under my bed (negatives included!) sorted by tabs, in addition to hard copy—and carefully curated—clear sleeve albums. This is a total contrast to my digital library, which resides in chaos across computers (old and new), backup drives and the aforementioned camera roll, which saw an explosion in growth after the birth of my son.
My intentions to document my life are pure, but as a millennial mother, if I can’t get a grip on photo organization and the sheer volume of images I snap, will all my efforts be for naught? (Not to get too deep here, but the lack of digital order feels cyclical—unless, ultimately, I just hand my kid the password to my cloud account and say have at it? That doesn’t feel right.)