February 08, 2014 - 4:32:58 am

Technology has made many things obsolete. The tradition of keeping photo albums of occasions like weddings and other ceremonies is dying out due to the advent of digital photography. While the older generation is unhappy that such a tradition is disappearing, the new generation is happy to embrace the change, and finds many benefits in keeping memories in memory sticks, hard disks and flash drives.

Technology has brought revolutionary changes to human life, causing certain things to be missed a lot. Changes brought about by digital photography are one among them.

There has been a number of articles in Arabic media of late about how people are gradually saying goodbye to the tradition of keeping photo albums. 

For Arabs and Asians, for whom family relations are sacrosanct, the disappearance of family albums is a deeply emotional thing. “In the case of photos stored in devices, we sometimes forget them and delete them accidentally. Sometimes, the device gets a virus, which means the life of the photo depends on the life of the device it’s stored on. At the same time, a printed photograph is permanent,” says Dina Fuwad, an Arab expatriate.

Dr Abdul Aziz Al Hammadi, a teacher of social science in the UAE, says that some people have a hobby of collecting albums and are deeply attached to them. “Old people always find old things good. As for albums, their childhood memories are connected with printed pictures and they are proud of them, and find the new technology unappealing.

But digital photography belongs to this age and those who are living in this age must adapt to this technology.”

Studios, too, are feeling the impact of these changes. Gone are the days when they used to make most of their income from traditional photography.

They are adapting to new technology to survive, and are introducing new products and services. But the extraordinary increase in the volume of pictures taken, through mobile phones and other devices, has contributed to their business. “There are still people who want to print pictures taken with mobile phones and digital cameras,” says a studio owner. 

It’s not only albums that are vanishing due to digital photography, even the practice of sending greeting cards has become outdated, having been replaced by online greetings. Greeting cards have been completely withdrawn from the market and shops selling them have closed down those sections.

With the passage of time, old traditions are likely to disappear completely. The new generation is adept at using new technology and has no love for the interests of the old generation.