I tend to go on and on about how digital photographs, social media, most-recent-first viewing, and so on have changed our relationship with pictures. We treat them as temporary and ephemeral.
Recently I was asked "well, what about prints?" and I have to say I have no idea!
It is said that we're making more prints than ever. As a percentage of photos shot, it's dropped off to so close to zero as to make no difference, but in absolute terms we're making more prints than we ever have.
Surely many of these are local drugstore prints, not necessarily very good, but exactly equivalent to the old school business of dropping off a roll of film and picking up an envelope of prints an hour later, or the next day. Probably these are a little better, overall, since we're generally selecting the pictures we want before ordering prints.
Surely many of the prints we're making are in the now-ubiquitous photo book. Everyone on earth, it seems, is running a business to print books of pictures. Some of them are pretty bad, others are pretty good. They mostly let you do a little book design, so the results are usually pretty awful, most people not being book designers. Still, there's a lot of these things being churned out. Surely we give a little more weight to a Book than to a handful of slippery prints?
I know how my family treats these things, but I can't take that as typical. I don't even treat my digital/online pictures in a typical fashion. I print, frame, and hang pictures. I make nice books of the very very best pictures, which books we take down and look at several times a year. But we're atypical.
I don't know what typical is, on this point. But I'll keep my eyes open for analysis and discussion! Maybe someone knows, or has an idea.