The Gustavian Weekly

How valuable are printed photographs? | The Gustavian Weekly

By Lauren Casey - Opinion Columnist | April 26, 2019 | Opinion

Living in the digital age, a lot of the things we used to use as kids have now turned digital. Many complain that printing out pictures takes time and effort, but a Gustavus alum, Sarah Duffy, created an app called QuePics to keep print pictures alive and make the process easier. This app allows for users to select which pictures they want printed, and  have them be shipped to them shortly after the order is placed.

Some may question why print pictures need to exist if we have albums on our phone that take up less space. Phones have made other processes easier, such as storing music, contacts, and more, but pictures are the one thing that shouldn’t be strictly digital for several relatable reasons.

The first reason that print pictures are still important is because they are still being utilized. Digitial pictures and print pictures are not the same situation as CDs and iPhones. iPhones made it easier to listen to music without having to store hundreds of CDs. Digital pictures are easier to store, but harder to use. Have you ever walked into a girl’s room and not seen any pictures on the wall or framed on a desk? Didn’t think so. Pictures are comforting to look at for both guys and girls, at college, at work, or even in a wallet.

“I think QuePics is a really unique idea that a lot of college women could use to print photos for their dorms,” Sophomore Emma Lohman said. Pictures aren’t hung up just to look at, they are also a big part of decorating rooms, and that just can’t be done on a phone.

We also put up print pictures for other people to look at, and others can’t look at pictures on the wall if there are none up there. While Facebook walls exist, it will never live up to the purpose of posting a picture on a real wall. Walking into a dorm room with no pictures of the family, the dog, friends, fun vacations, awesome views, and artsy pictures would make for a very sad and boring room to come home to everyday.

The second reason that print pictures hold value is because they are a lot more sentimental than a digital picture. Yes, Facebook and Snapchat have tried to do the “a year ago” thing, and while that tugs at the heart strings a little bit, nothing compares to pulling out the baby pictures album. Having access to pictures all the time on a phone can suck out all the sentimental feelings, and make it lose its sparkle. “I rarely go back to look at digital pictures versus when I have a physical copy and look through them,” junior Paige Wormer said.

One of my favorite feelings is coming across an old print picture that I stuffed in a book or a drawer because the exact moment that picture was taken comes back to me. With a digital picture, I don’t get that same feeling. Something about being able to physically hold the picture itself, rather than hold the phone, means so much more.

Last, printed pictures can be used a lot more than digital ones. One may argue that a digital picture can be sent, made into a collage, posted to social media etc. But thinking about it, it still stays on the web the whole time, and can’t go any further than that. A printed picture can be given as a gift in a frame, or put in cards to send to grandma who doesn’t use technology. Receiving a picture from a friend in print form means so much more than getting it from them in a text. “I like printed pictures better because I like being able to put the picture on a place like a refrigerator,” Junior Wyatt Miller said.

Printed pictures can also be put in special places such as a desk at work, in the car, hung up on bathroom stalls Gustavus style, or put wherever one may need a physical reminder of a special someone or something. On the flip side, print pictures are also great when needing to forget something, or a not so special someone anymore. Cutting an ex out of a picture, or burning it, probably feels a lot better than hitting a delete button.

Even then, nothing on the web ever goes away, and that deleted picture just goes from your current album, to the recently deleted album, making that first delete totally anti-climactic. Printed pictures make everything more permanent.  Instead of making everything strictly digital, or strictly print, our fellow Gustie, Sarah Duffy, Class of ‘07, has found a way to merge the two so we get the best of both worlds.

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