Do your kids ever ask you to see photos of themselves, or photos of your last vacation, or photos of their dance recital or baseball game or that time they caught that fish in the river or their trip to the zoo?
And, then, do you hand them your phone?
Doesn’t it feel kinda anti-climactic? Do you feel like scrolling through your memories leaves you feeling like something’s missing?
Well, I believe there are 4 major things we miss out on when our memories are stuck on our devices:
Better memory recall
This is a side-effect of tangible memories and has to do with how the human brain works. Whether we know we are doing it or not, we make associations in order to increase our memory power. Making associations means you connect information with something familiar and create multiple references that help your brain sort and file information. Here’s what I’m talking about: You know when you find yourself scrolling through your camera roll - maybe looking for a particular photo - and you see a photo you barely remember taking? And you may quickly think “oh look! That’s a good one!” Then you move on through your scroll only to forget it again? This happens because we take the photo, it ends up among the thousands of other files on our phone or in the cloud, and then we move on to the next thing, never really looking at it in the context of the memory. It’s a catch-22, isn’t it? Feeling like you’re capturing all the days, but you’re capturing so much, you can’t file it in your brain and remember it all. When our photos are stashed away in the cloud or on our devices, they can easily be forgotten because we don’t see them often enough in the context they were intended, and in effect, we don’t have the opportunity for our brains to associate that photo with that particular memory. When our memories are tangible and in our hands, we begin to make associations in our brain: “that” particular photo with “that” particular photo book with “that” great memory. You'll find yourself remembering the years things happened, too. It’s like magic.
There are many ways to get our memories off our devices, but my medium of choice is photo books. There’s a good reason for this. I personally love books. Always have. Always will. I love everything they offer. I love that just by cracking open the cover, we are promised new wisdom and insight into understanding the world around us. Our photo books are no different, they are the story of us and it’s just as valuable if not more important to better understand ourselves and the ones closest to us. With your photo book in hand, you flip through the stories of your life. It’s amazing how just seeing a single photo will instantly trigger those memories and the stories start to flow.
Time off the screens
Every parent knows, we need more ways to get off those screens and do things together. Conveniently, our photos are just more meaningful off the screen and in our hands. The great thing about gathering together around your photo books, is that you get to relive those shared experiences and learn new and interesting perspectives from each other. Plus, kids LOVE seeing photos of themselves, as we all know, and it’s a prime opportunity to lure them away from the TV, video games, or any other square void that might be occupying their attention, with the promise of something they will actually enjoy (plus, it’s something easy and accessible for Mom and Dad)!
It is a great joy of mine to hear Memory My Way members tell me how their kids will pull their photo books off the shelf and start looking through them independently. That is because something really cool ends up happening: Parents actually stop and take a moment too. We are all so busy doing so much to keep family life buzzing and functioning, that we can forget to take a pause and just sit with each other. This pause leads to new connections and stronger bonds. We stop, we reflect, we reminisce, we smile, we laugh, and we look into each other’s faces and remember happy times. These are special moments. Moments hard to duplicate in today’s busy family life. Having photo books accessible opens up a path to these connections.
With your best moments rescued from the cloud, you’re gaining so much more than beautiful photo books on your shelf. You’ll remember more, tell stories, get off the screens AND create more opportunities for family connection.
Who knew photo books could do all that?
Nichole Healy is the Founder of Memory My Way where families get the help they need to rescue their memories from the cloud. Memory My Way pairs members with a professional Designer who custom creates their family photo books for them - saving tons of precious time. To learn more about how we can help you, go here.