My Kids Are A Part Of The JPEG Generation

Rebecca Eckler takes a lot of pictures of her kids, but never gets around to printing them, hence she refers to her kids as the JPEG Generation


My children have been brought up as JPEGs. About 99 per cent of time, when I take a picture of them, individually or together, those photos stay on my phone, or I will post the adorable (totally objective of course!) photos on Facebook or Twitter.

If I need a “fix” of Holt or Rowan, when they’re not around, I just scroll through my camera roll on my phone, which is easier than carrying around actually printed off photos.

The only reason I have actual, glossy, printed out photos of my son and my daughter is because my parents are old. “Old-school,” I mean, in that they actually USE a real camera, then actually TAKE the roll into a photo developing shop, then PICK THEM UP an hour later, and THEN hand then over of me. Honestly, it seems so old fashioned. I often look at my parents like they are aliens, even though I so appreciate it.

This world has changed so drastically when it comes to technology, I believe most of our babies are JPEG babies and will grow up to be JPEG toddlers, then JPEG kids, then JPEG teens.

As soon as that baby is born, like 12 seconds afterwards, you’re going to see that baby on Facebook. These days, it’s almost RUDE not to post your newborn’s photo, almost like uninviting someone to a party. And it’s just as RUDE to not to click the ‘like’ button, or make a comment like, “Mazel!’ or, “Adorable!’ or “Congratulations!”

I never get tired of looking at newborns on social media, and following them as they learn to clap or have green gunk covering their faces, after their parents gave them their first try of mashed peas. What can I say? I have no life. I kid.

But it beats seeing what strangers ate for lunch or reading a post someone wrote about the state of the economy or those quizzes that ask which celebrity would play you in a movie.

I actually get to know more about friend’s children’s from Facebook, tweets and Instagram, than I do when we get together, old school, to talk in person.

This is a plus! No longer do we ONLY talk about our children. Why do we need to? I already saw that your kid is in ballet classes, or that you were up all night with a screaming baby or that your child won some sort of prize. My friends already know my son likes soccer and my daughter likes to sing and ski, not from me telling them, but because my children are JPEG kids, and I post their JPEG photos.

I hope I don’t post too maniacally! I know one woman who posts AT LEAST 12 photos a day of her now six-month old, and has since her daughter was six seconds old. In fact, I may even know more about what her baby is up to than I do with my own baby!

The thought of actually printing out the actual photo, so I can put it in — what are those things called again? Oh, right — “photo albums,” seems as weird to me as picking up my land line phone. (I don’t even know the number!)

The quality of phones are so good today, it’s hard not to capture at least a handful of professional looking photographs. I also have a ton of photos of them on “memory sticks.”

If Facebook suddenly shut down, I would lose a hell of a lot of photos of my children growing up and their accomplishments. I WOULD cry!

I’m only getting older. My children are only getting more tech savvy.

God forbid my children ask one day, “Can I see some photos of me when I was a baby?” I’ll be like, “Yeah, I don’t know. You’re on a memory stick somewhere. Or, um, just pull up my FB page.” Although these are modern times, do you feel guilty that your baby is going to be a JPEG kid? Or do you go to the trouble of actually printing off photos and putting them into… what are they called again? Right! Photo albums!

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