yours, tiramisu

wrestling with google photos, again

Now that I finally have time to spare I'm finally getting around to some of the tasks I've been putting off for months, the biggest among these being cleaning up my Google Photos.

I used to religiously back up all of the myriad photos I took, until Google changed their policy and started limiting free storage on photos taken past June 1, 2021. I've since changed my habits: I take very few photos now, and even still every once in a while I have to download photos from Google Photos and back them up into an external hard drive to free up space on my Google Account.

I hate the entire process. It takes me forever to download, organize, and delete all of the photos I've taken. It feels even more tedious when I consider the fact that I've never once looked back at the photos I have in storage. Scrolling through them in File Explorer just doesn't have the same charm as seeing them in Google Photos: the photos are out of order, hard to see, difficult to share with friends.

I realize I can pay for Google's cloud storage to spare myself the hassle. I can get 200 GB for 30ayear,or2TBfor99 a year. I don't know how long it would take me to fill 200 GB (probably five to ten years), but the 2 TB would certainly be enough for the rest of my life. I don't subscribe out of principle, more than cost. I don't want anyone other than myself to be the warden of my most cherished memories, even if that means trading in my precious hours. And if we acquiesce to these big tech companies' bait-and-switches, won't we be give them the green light to continue?

As I scroll, I don't even remember taking the vast majority of my photos. I'm pretty sure deleting them from Google Photos marks the last time I'm ever going to see them. There are so many beautiful ones, many of which remind me of times so happy tears well up in my eyes. Purging these photos feels like moving the memories themselves to the trash. I know I can always come back to my hard drive to reminisce, but will I? How will not being able to look back on my memories as frequently change me?

Looking through my photos can be a source of immense joy. I'll miss having them close at hand and being able to find reminders that I'm loved. On the flipside, I often use this very habit as a way to cling onto the past, to relive memories instead of letting go. Will getting rid of these photos force me to finally move on for good? Maybe this is a good way for me to bookend one period of my life, tying up loose ends and giving me an empty slate with which to begin a new one.

#english #life #photos #wordvomit