6 Ways Your Photos are in Danger and How To Keep Them Safe
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If you’re like most people, your photos are among your most meaningful possessions. Treasured holiday memories, your nervous steps down the aisle, emotional reminders of your child’s first day on the school bus. Maybe even that burnt orange Polaroid of you and your best old friends—big glasses and frizzy hair everywhere.
And as embarrassing as some of those glamour shots might be, you wouldn’t give them up for the world—would you?
Unfortunately, that’s too often what happens. A lost cell phone, a crashed computer, a flooded basement, a house fire—it takes surprisingly little to risk, damage, or erase your most cherished, most intimate memories.
It gets worse. With advances in technology come new threats—many of which aren’t quite as obvious as those we’ve listed above. Even with backups and cloud access, you’re still at risk—and can in seconds lose everything.
In this post we share the first of 6 highlights of some of the most common dangers to your photos, including some that aren’t often discussed. Let’s get started!
1 Social Media
Social media has exploded, and in particular its many photo sharing features. Over 243,000 pictures are uploaded to Facebook every minute. But even that number doesn’t tell the story. Across the whole social media landscape, about half a billion photos are uploaded each day. That’s quite a burden on software not specifically designed for long-term storage.
Social doesn’t mean saved.
Social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram are great for sharing photos, but not for saving them. In order to offer these services for “free” they cut down on storage and bandwidth costs by automatically compressing the size and quality of each one of your photos.
It means they reduce photo quality.
These cost saving methods degrade the quality of your photos, which limits what you can do with them. Forget viewing these photos in high quality, or even including them in personal projects, such as videos and slide shows.
Don’t be fooled by what you see on your phone or monitor. Even Facebook’s “high quality” option significantly reduces photo quality.
It’s only getting worse.
As technology improves, the screens we use get bigger and better. That’s great news if you’re looking at beautiful, high resolution photos. On the other hand, if you want to display pictures from Facebook, they’re going to look worse. High resolution monitors these days equal or exceed print quality resolution, so images displayed at a lower resolution (again, all of those you’ll find on social media) will surely fail to meet your expectations.
Simply put, social media platforms are not designed to be photo management solutions. Their only job is to share. They can’t guarantee that your pictures will be around in a decade; they can’t even guarantee they’ll be around next summer. Further, even if you could rely on one of the giant social media companies to save your photos long-term, you wouldn’t be able to do much with them. None of their existing software boasts tools sufficient for organizing your memories in the manner you’d like to see them.
Stay tuned for the next post with the second highlight.