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A woman sits near me in the coffee shop fingering through a large stack of photos. There are probably a few hundred pics there of she, her husband, and what looks like other family members. I can remember doing the same on holidays.

But, we don’t do that anymore. The process of even taking those pictures doesn’t even happen in shared spaces like it used to. It’s digital now, on Flickr, Facebook, or other sites. And we share, just not in stacks of piles of prints.

I remember how when my dad passed that my sister went on a veritable hunt for pictures of dad. She found pics that many of us had not seen for a long time. Pictures sparked memories that we effectively remembered and forgotten.

Some months ago, another set of those pictures turned up and my aunt texted me asking me if I wanted them. I told her that she could just snap a picture of the picture and sent it to me. I wasn’t thinking about the photo itself, and whatever notes might also be attached to it. Not thinking of what effect it might mean for her to just hand me the picture, instead of passing radio waves, bits, and bytes.

We really did used to do photos differently. And there are moments like this holiday, and the lady packing those photos away near me, that shows just how much life has changed in such a short time.

Liberty to record the moment, but probably bound to the service more than the moment.

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