Recently DeletedHow technology is changing our memories of family.

Recently DeletedHow technology is changing our memories of family.

It’s been three years since my mom stopped using her camera. “It’s just easier,” she said, announcing our first smartphone-documented Christmas. “I can email the pictures to your uncle in Spain.” Then, with the patience of someone reasoning with a Luddite, “You know, I can always print them off later.” Of course, I understood, having myself lost patience with everything not instantly shareable a long time before my parents capitulated to the cheap thrills of click and send. But, selfishly, it felt like a loss. The role of family photographer is a bit like that of designated driver—I don’t want to do it, but I certainly want someone to be behind the wheel.

Photo albums are a historic ledger of sorts: They celebrate the living, memorialize the dead, and knit your lif...

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