Guest post by Richard Grant, founder and CEO of Lifetile, the photo-sharing app to capture, save & share your most precious photo memories – in one place. We ALL have a story to tell.
- Lifetile is a simple and secure way to capture, save and share your most precious memories – all in one place – creating a visually stunning timeline of big life events.
- Lifetile creates a digital shoe-box of your favorite photos, videos, music, documents and web links, enabling you to enjoy and share your memories today or simply keep them safe for tomorrow.
- Lifetile gives you total control over your content, so you can keep your memories completely private, only share with friends and family, or make them accessible to everyone.
- Capture your children’s early years, record family life and draw together memorable moments such as weddings, parties, special days and holidays.
- Quickly and easily sort, caption and tag each big life event to create an enduring digital legacy – the story of your life – that can be enjoyed for many years to come.
- Lifetile is free to use. Ready? Go to lifetile.me to create your account, or download the app from the App Store.
You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
That’s what they say….or in some cases sing. But it’s true. It’s true for so many things. An ex-lover. Your health. Your hair. Or in my case…..my father.
It wasn’t planned. It started with a relaxing holiday for my Mom and Dad to the United States…followed by a little difficulty breathing, then a doctor saying “you should go home, you’ve got lung cancer”. Three months later my father had died. A rapid decline from good health to losing his battle with mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer.
It was a bitter experience. Still is. What happened to my parents enjoying their retirement? What happened to them being there to welcome their grandchildren into the world? What happened to those glorious family holidays with three generations enjoying life together? I marvel as my friends drop off their kids at the grandparents whilst they enjoy a weekend away. I smile at the sight of seeing elderly couples walking hand in hand in the park. I love to see the joy on the children’s faces when their granddad collects them from school. But inside, my broken heart cracks just a little again. Why can’t my Dad be the one collecting my children from nursery? Why can’t he and Mom be the ones walking hand in hand in the park? Why is it my mom who is a shell of her former self – in apparent ill health, although the only real illness is loneliness, and longing for my Dad. Why oh why was it him?
It was only when he died, only when he had gone, that I realised just how much I loved my dad, and how much I missed him. Initially it was the things I did when he was alive that I missed. But now, it’s so much more than that. It’s the things that I’m doing now, the life that I’m living now, and the world we live in today, that I can’t tell him about. He never met my incredible wife. He wasn’t alive at the birth of my children – he never got to see their beautiful faces, or to surround them with his warmth and love. My three adorable, incredible, perfect children have never needed to say Granddad. It isn’t in their vocabulary. It never will be.
I’ve written before about how losing my father had a life changing impact on me. I hadn’t asked him all the things I wanted to ask. I wanted more stories, more anecdotes, more history, more wisdom…more Dad. So, I left my corporate role, and have dedicated the last three years of my life to the development of lifetile – a place where people can capture, save and share the story of their lives. My vow after losing Dad was that when I had children they would have a chance to know who my dad was and what he was like. They’d know more about him, more about my own childhood, and they’d also have a record of their lives too.
The best way to describe lifetile is a digital shoebox of memories. A place where you can store precious photos and videos, but also old school reports, private letters, personal journals, and any other documents that mean something to you. Adding events to your lifetile helps create a wonderful memory lane to be revisited time and time again, and ultimately a lasting digital legacy to hand over to your family.
It isn’t a photo or video storage device. There are many existing storage providers where you can store thousands of photos – to never look at again. Research in 2014 by Dr Henkel of Fairfield University has suggested that “the sheer volume and lack of organization of digital photos for personal memories discourages many people from accessing and reminiscing about them. In order to remember, we have to access and interact with the photos, rather than just amass them”. There were expected to be 1 trillion photos taken in 2015 and 4.9 trillion photos stored by 2017. Do we look at them?
With lifetile, it is about choosing just the photos that really matter, and interacting with only those photos. Each event allows you to add a personal description of what happened and who was there, which enriches the memory for years to come.
You’re in control over who sees your information. Private means only you can see this event, Shared mean only the people you choose to share your lifetile with can see it, and Public means anyone can see it. Some things are the most intimate, private memories, and others, you want to tell the world about. Well…with lifetile you decide. If you want to share your event on someone else’s timeline, just tag them. Maybe it’s your wedding day video, a memorable family holiday, or some embarrassing old school photos – whatever it is tag someone to let them hold on to that memory too.
Our personal digital legacy, and how to manage it, is becoming a hot topic now. We are all amassing vast amounts of personal information and creating a digital footprint which is overwhelming, messy and fragmented. So we’ve come up with a technical solution so you can control what happens to your digital legacy.
Our digital legacy feature is like a living will. You can choose what happens to your lifetile content when you die. You appoint “executors” to carry out your digital legacy wishes following the provision of a valid death certificate, and then lifetile will “delete” or “make public”, all photos and other digital memories, as per your wishes. It will do so for any lifetile events you have shared on Facebook and Twitter too. You can also add your own final words and photo to be added in the event of your death. It’s not a nice topic…but it’s even worse to not proactively choose what happens to all your precious photos, videos and memories. Memories matter – we think it’s so important to make sure you leave behind a lasting digital legacy for your children and grandchildren.
When I talk to people about losing my father, their eyes often mist up. They have either experienced the pain of losing someone, or they can understand a little how it might feel. Believe me – you can’t really understand how it feels till it happens. It will happen. To all of us.
One guy who knows from personal experience of the pain of losing someone is Mitch Goldstone, CEO of ScanMyPhotos.com. Mitch’s own experience is one for him to share not me, but suffice to say that Mitch lost his father at a very early age and recognises, more than many could, the value in capturing precious memories. We compared our own stories recently and it struck home how both of our experiences led to the development of our companies – and how both companies provide a differing but complimentary service to tackle how to preserve your beautiful precious memories.
ScanMyPhotos suggest that the average family has 5,500 physical photos – probably scattered around in albums, boxes, filing cabinets and cupboards under the stairs. Gathering dust and fading away. That is a lot of memory. Probably Randomly Accessed Memory too. Goodness, I just made up a technical geek joke!
Anyway, who has time to scan 5,500 photos? I’ve scanned a few on my computer and there are a few apps out there that scan individual photos quite well. But that many? It would take forever. So people use ScanMyPhotos – great service, quality assured, price competitive. Saves you time. Saves you effort.
But once you’ve got these photos back, then what? How do you share them with the people that really matter to you? How do you add more richness and colour to them by adding comments and narrative? How do you continue to build the story of your life using digital technology? How do you ensure that your digital legacy is preserved for the next generation?
The combination of precious analog photos carefully scanned and preserved interfacing seamlessly with new and recent digital images into your personal timeline is an engaging, beautiful concept.
Without the addition of old photos we have little history. Without the addition of new photos we miss the opportunity to continue the story of our lives and build our wonderful legacy for generations to come.
I started this article talking about losing my dear Dad. The pain won’t ever completely disappear. My heart will always be a little broken. What helps is to know that I’ve preserved my photos of him for my children, so that in time they will learn to understand more about the man that I adored, my own personal superhero. Perhaps then they will know what it means to say the word Granddad.
Scan your photos now – don’t let them gather dust, don’t let them fade. Then create your lifetile account and capture a lifetile of precious memories.
Richard is a husband, a father of 3 (under 4!), and the founder and CEO of lifetile. The lifetile iOS app is free to download in the App Store.