Information Curation

Over the holiday I started working on my digital scrapbook projects. It felt nice to review pictures of warmer times while listening to the wind howl outside my windows. I flipped through photos of vacations taken to sunny climates. Swimming. Laying near the beach. Going rock climbing.

Our trusty kayaks waiting for us as we lunched on the rocks above.

One big difference I’ve noticed in the process is choosing which pictures to place in the scrapbook. I’m overwhelmed with options and I get decision fatigue often. It makes the process very time consuming, especially when I have to go to multiple locations to see all the photos. I selected the image above from many similar ones of the kayaks tied up at different locations throughout our 4-day trip last summer.

However, the more pictures I select, the more I can fit on the page, but then the smaller they become. So many compromises to make! The image below wouldn’t be as nice if it were too small.

One of many stunning views while rock climbing in Lake Tahoe.

Volume was more contained when pictures were still printed, likely for practical reasons (space, cost, managing, etc.). It would have been difficult for most of us to obtain the same large volume of photos/videos with older technology. But on the other side, features have been developed to accommodate the volumes, some of which can automate the hard work of organizing and managing photos.

Every time I create a digital scrapbook, I feel keenly aware that I’m somewhat crafting my own history by the choices I make, sometimes from hundreds of options. Cost is definitely a factor for me because¬†I like to get my digital scrapbooks printed. So I carefully go through them to choose the best representatives, or my favorites. I’ll often limit how many scrapbook pages are dedicated for each set of photos.

Each time I look through one of my scrapbooks, I become more familiar with the highlights of the event I memorialized. The narrative I designed by the images I chose and the accompanying text. I wonder, as time passes, will I only remember these few curated moments of the experience?¬† The ones that match the photos I selected?¬† Will I forget about all the other small details and things that happened if I can’t see all the photos?

And then I wonder, if that’s such a bad thing.




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