Posted by Glyn Wade

How often do you look back at old photographs? For most of us that would involve digging out what we used to call ‘prints’ possibly from boxes stored in the attic, on top of a wardrobe or maybe under the bed somewhere. For the younger generation it may just be a case of logging into Facebook.

I have many photographs of me somewhere in the house and my Mum has even more in her attic. I’m guessing future generations won’t have the pleasure of flicking through embarrassing shots of themselves in now antique (and probaly hilarious) clothing. No, it will all be about Googling themselves and clicking the images link or, more likely, clicking through them on Facebook. If they want to see pictures of themselves as a particularly young child then it will mean clicking through their parent’s Facebook account.

If I Google my name and click images, most of the pictures are ones I took myself and there aren’t any of me as a child. Imagine in twenty years time, people who are kids now will see themselves all over Google wearing One Direction T-shirts proudly and cringing to themselves. Gone will be the days when parents would get out the photo albums to show to their offspring’s latest partner, it will all be there to see on the internet.

I read a book recently by Linwood Barclay where one of the characters believed that one day all the online maps would be hacked and no longer available. He used a tool similar to Google’s streetview to learn all the streets around the world so he could use his knowledge afterwards. Imagine if all the images you have are all stored online and they are all lost, gone, never to be seen again. There’s no way of getting them back apart from in your memories but then what?

Now I know printed photographs can be lost, burnt, fade etc etc but imagine if we lost the internet, computers imploded on themselves and were no longer available, hard drives all fizzled and every single digital image was wiped out in one foul swoop? Not a pretty picture (sic) is it?

Of course there’s also the fact that your embarrassing photographs are there for all to see. Imagine that? No thank-you….not that there are any more embarrassing photos of me to see of course! I got off pretty lucky with my Googled images but future generations may not be quite so fortunate.

I’ll leave this there as I can sense that you’re itching to go off and Google yourself….and probably me as well… may even see yourselves on some of the pictures.