Did you know that having your photos printed and displayed is actually good for your health? It’s true! Science has shown that looking at printed pictures actually improves your mood, reduces sadness and depression and can ease the feeling of loss after a loved one passes.
In this article, you’ll discover some great advantages of printing your photos rather than keeping them on an electronic device.
Why Printed Photos Are Better Than Digital
As humans, we like to use our senses. The more senses we use in a situation, the more chances our brain has to make a lasting memory of that moment. It’s our brain’s way of knowing what is most important to us.
Printed pictures use almost all of our senses, which maximizes the amount of energy our brain allocated to the memories in the photos. How? I’m glad you asked! Let’s get that old box of photos out of the closet and take a look.
First of all, we see the images. We see our loved ones and remember what that moment was like. We remember what the sky looked like that day or how the trees seemed extra green that year. This is our first kick of those feel-good endorphins.
Next, we pick up the picture and feel it. Touching an item gives us another connection to it. We can feel the smoothness of the printed picture and how the back is just a little rough. I find that I run my fingers over the pictures of my grandparents now that they are gone. It’s a way of touching them, even though they aren’t here any more. Of course, it’s not the same, but it’s the closest I can get. I crave that connection sometimes.
When I opened the box of pictures, they smelled like pictures. I know that might sound strange, but they really do. It’s kind of like how old books seem to have a certain smell…pictures do too. If they’ve been stored at a loved one’s house, they might even have the same smell as that house. This can bring back all the warm feelings of childhood in one simple smell.
Not only can we actually smell the printed picture, but smells are so connected to memories that they can stack. So you might smell the familiar scent of your grandma’s house while holding the picture. This will lead to remembering what your grandma smelled like. As you look at the picture and remember what she smelled like, you’ll remember the moment that you’re seeing in the picture. Then, you’ll even start to remember the way the lake smelled (the lake that your grandma is standing in front of in the picture). This will lead you to think about how fun it was to swim in the lake that summer. Before you know it, you’ll have the biggest smile on your face as you think about taking your kids to that same lake to experience the same fun you had all those years ago.
All this, because you looked at a printed photo in an old photo box that came from your grandma’s house. How cool is that?
What Are The Disadvantages Of Digital Photos?
I’m right there with you. I take tons of pictures with my phone and I love it. Since my goal is for people to have pictures of their family, I’m thrilled that so many of us take pictures of the small moments as well as the big ones. However, there are some drawbacks to digital photos and the older I get, the more I see these.
One reason digital photos are not as good as printed photos is because technology is always changing. Twenty years ago, we all thought the home videos we had would be able to be seen forever. Now, so many families have dozens of VHS tapes sitting on a bookshelf, gathering dust because there’s no way to watch them. It’s costly to have those old VHS recordings made digital.
Some people saw the advantage of switching to DVD early on and had their VHS tapes transferred to DVD. That was the perfect solution…at the time. Now, it can be difficult to fins a household with a DVD player. So now, the best way is to put your files on a USB drive. But what’s next? There will always be some new, better way to store your digital files. Your precious memories may get left behind if you don’t act quickly enough.
But my biggest reason for not keeping everything digital is that digital images and videos tend to be forgotten. When we take hundreds, if not thousands of pictures every year, they become less valuable. We don’t appreciate them and we rarely look at them. It’s such a tragedy too! We have so many beautiful memories to look back on, but we never do! If something is valuable to us, we are more likely to appreciate it and printed pictures fit right in that sweet spot.
Digital pictures are disposable and common, making them less valuable to use. Printed pictures are rare and precious, making them much more valuable and treasured.
Other Advantages Of Printed Pictures
Memories and the way those memories make us feel are part of what it means to be human. Few things can bring back a moment or a feeling like a picture can. It would be silly for me to try convincing you that a picture is not special. I think pictures are one the greatest things in the modern world. They have this magical ability to take us back in time so we can revisit old friends and feel the happiness we felt when the picture was taken. I can’t think of anything else that has that ability.
As our memory fades, our pictures can bring back what we thought was lost. How amazing is that?
Pictures create a calmness
Finally, in a world dominated by electronics, it’s nice to be able to take a moment to unwind and quiet your mind. I find looking at old pictures with my kids creates a different kind of energy in the house. My kids, who otherwise crave electronics, want to hear the stories I tell when looking through pictures. It gives me one of the only opportunities to share the stories that would otherwise be forgotten.
My kids have a calmer mind, I get to share family stories and memories and we all have the opportunity to deepen the connections we share with all of our family members. For me, these are priceless opportunities that are being missed by the current generation and digital pictures are the culprit. I think our generation has the responsibility and the ability to keep keep these stories and memories alive for future generations. Let’s do this!
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