July 3, 2024

Why Social Media Isn't the Place for Your Memories

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Social media is NOT PHOTO STORAGE!

Let's face it: social media is not reliable for storing your precious photos. We've all been guilty of using it as a quick fix, posting our memories without careful consideration. But the truth is that social media is primarily designed for sharing and connecting, not keeping your digital legacy. It's important to understand its limitations in this regard.

Here's why you shouldn't rely on social media for photo storage

The Risks of Using Social Media for Photo Storage

We understand the allure of social media. We spend a ton of time on it, too, and we LOVE seeing everyone's photos of vacations, cute babies, and funny cat memes. However, relying on social media platforms as your main photo storage comes with significant risks. Here's why this may not be the best option.

Social media: Great for sharing, not for storing

Size matters

When you upload photos to social media, they often get compressed, meaning they lose quality. For instance, a high-resolution photo of a family gathering you upload might be reduced to a lower resolution, affecting its overall quality and making it less suitable for printing or other uses.

Alterations in metadata

Metadata changes on social media platforms can alter the date and name of your photos. For example, if you upload a photo with a specific date and time, the platform might change the date to the current date or remove the timestamp altogether. This makes it challenging to keep track of the original date and time of the photo.

The WhatsApp watchout 

It's worth noting that WhatsApp, in particular, removes the original date of the photo and adds the date of sharing. This can be problematic if you want to preserve the original date. For example, if you send a photo to a friend on WhatsApp, the platform might change the date to the current date, making it difficult to track the original date of the photo. This highlights a specific issue with WhatsApp's photo date changes. 

Downloading can be a pain 

It's important to be prepared for the potential challenges of downloading photos from social media, especially if you want to download photos from other people's posts. For instance, if you want to download a photo from a friend's post, you might need to ask them to share the photo directly with you or use a third-party app to download the photo. This underscores the potential difficulties of this process.

Privacy matters

Social media platforms collect vast amounts of personal data, including your name, email address, phone number, location, date of birth, and more. This data is used to create detailed profiles of users for targeted advertising and other purposes. For example, if you upload a photo with your location, the platform might use that information to target you with location-based ads. Think about why these free social media platforms want you to store your memories on their servers. Chances are, it’s to benefit their business model rather than protect your digital legacy.

Do's and don'ts for storing photos on social media

DO: Be aware of the risks of using social media for photo storage.

  • There is no obligation to keep your data safe
  • Compression reduces quality
  • Metadata gets stripped
  • Accounts can be hacked or deleted at any time.

DON’T

  • Rely on social media for photo storage: it's not a secure place for your memories. Remember the saying, "If you're not paying for the product, you are the product"

Where Should I Keep My Photos?

Consider several key factors to guide your decision-making process. Start by evaluating the size of your photo library and whether you need easy access across all your devices. Determine if owning private cloud storage is preferable over paying monthly subscriptions. Consider how important it is to share photos with specific individuals or everyone and if collaborative album platforms are necessary. Value full control over privacy settings? Enjoy creating print projects like cards or books from your photo collection? These considerations will help you choose the right photo storage solution.

Recommended Options

  1. Amazon Photos (Subscription-based)

Amazon Photos offers unlimited photo storage for Amazon Prime members, with automatic camera roll backup and efficient photo location with AI. Note that organizational features may not transfer outside the platform, and there's an additional charge for video storage over 5GB. 

  1. Apple Photos (iCloud, Subscription-based)

Apple Photos (iCloud) suits Apple users, providing seamless syncing across devices and AI-based photo retrieval. However, it lacks a built-in backup option, and two-way sync can lead to deletion across all devices.

  1. FOREVER

FOREVER offers a one-time payment for permanent digital storage of full-resolution photos. It provides triple backup to ensure photos remain fully resolved without compression. The service guarantees full-resolution storage for a lifetime plus 100 additional years alongside various privacy settings. Additionally, it supports content organization, preservation settings, and multimedia file upload. FOREVER's Client Care Support is available seven days a week. Users can create a complimentary 2GB account to explore its features, including direct creation and printing from the photo library.

  1. Google Photos (Subscription)

Google Photos is pre-installed on most Android phones and utilizes AI for searching. However, retrieving photos in their original quality and extracting organized data from the platform can be difficult. Remember that there are limitations in extracting photos with their original quality and organizing features.

  1. Mylio Photos+ (Subscription)

Mylio Photos+ is a convenient cross-platform solution for accessing photos across devices without relying on third-party cloud services. It's a great tool for organizing your photos, although it may take some time to become familiar with the setup process.

  1. SmugMug (Subscription)

SmugMug offers strong privacy controls and unlimited storage for photos and short videos. While it may be somewhat complex to set up, it is particularly valuable for professional photographers.

Each option has its strengths and drawbacks, so choose based on your specific needs for photo storage, access, and long-term preservation.

The bottom line

Social media isn't a reliable place for your precious memories. Uploads often lose quality, metadata can get altered, and downloading can be inconvenient. Plus, there's always the risk of losing your memories altogether due to hacks, privacy breaches, or platform changes.

Don't trust your irreplaceable memories to a "free" service with limitations. Look into secure solutions designed to keep your photos and videos safe and accessible for years. Your memories deserve a dedicated space to preserve them for generations to enjoy.

If you’ve been considering an alternative approach to safely storing your photos and need help determining the most suitable options for your needs, feel free to reach out.  Let me help you - I provide a comprehensive consultation tailored to your preferences and requirements to suggest the ideal photo storage solution for you. 

This post may contain affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you.

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