Oh, hello. It’s been a minute since I last wrote. Seven months and some change, to be more precise.In lieu of an “update post” in which I list every major life change and what I’ve been up to since April, I thought I’d just jump right in and resume a semi-regular posting schedule. We’ll catch up and be on the same page eventually.I’ve had a little more time to work on some creative projects since I graduated in May (that’s right: I am now in possession of a Master of Science in Communication from Purdue University), completed my two-year contract and stopped working in August, and returned from two glorious months of home leave in the U.S. a few weeks ago.One endeavor I’m excited about is finally updating my Project Life: Jordan scrapbook. We’re more than halfway through our four-year assignment in Jordan, and I’ve not only completed Book One, which documents our first two years living and working in Amman, but I’ve started Book Two, which will take us through the end of our tour in 2019.From Project Life’s “Cinnamon Edition” Core Kit.(See previous scrapbooks here: Project Life: Afghanistan and Project Life: El Salvador.)Project Life: Jordan | Book One includes everything from our arrival to post, settling into our new home, getting to know Jordan, and trips to Greece, Oman, Turkey, Lebanon, Morocco, New Zealand, and lots of other places — much of which I haven’t yet written about on this blog. (To give you an idea of how behind I am: I left off writing about our November 2016 R&R to Singapore, New Zealand & Australia and I still have several posts to go.)I very much embrace the digitization of our world. This here “weblog” is evidence itself, along with my use of social media, cloud storage, and countless apps for media consumption, scheduling, organization, and other uses.I’ve been on Facebook since 2004, and I have hundreds and possibly thousands of digital photos and “memories” archived there and on Flickr, iCloud, Google Drive, and elsewhere. I can pull up a memory on my computer, tablet, or phone — or a friend’s tablet or phone — basically anywhere there is internet access.But there’s something satisfying about having tactile keepsakes — printed photos, ticket stubs, maps, brochures — and holding them in my hands in an album or scrapbook.Earlier this year I read (as an e-book, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit) “The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter,” in which author David Sax examines a resurgence in everything from vinyl records to film photography to brick-and-mortar retail stores — even analog products and practices in digital industries. Increasingly, Sax writes, people are consciously choosing analog, even when such choices come with a greater cost in terms of price, time, and mental capacity. Why?
Analog gives us the joy of creating and possessing real, tangible things in realms where physical objects and experiences are fading. These pleasures range from the serendipity of getting a roll of film back from the developer, to the fun in playing a new board game with old friends, to the luxurious sound of unfolding the Sunday newspaper, and to the instant reward that comes from seeing your thoughts scratched onto a sheet of paper with the push of a pen. These are the priceless experiences for those who enjoy them.
“Priceless” is a pretty good word to describe my Project Life scrapbooks and the memories they contain.What do you do to preserve all your digital “memories” across social media and online storage platforms?