That is the question! How many special photos do you have that you can only view on a screen? I have thousands going back to 2000 when I got my first digital camera. BUT I have printed some very special ones that are proudly displayed in my home and many others that are in albums (although I have some catching up to do!).
In the beginning of my career I had a black and white dark room and shot with this crazy stuff called film....we didn't have any fancy shmancy devices to store pixels and share photos on! I would take my colour 'film' to the photo lab and receive 36 printed pictures and then toss out all the bad ones and keep the good ones and slip them into an album or sometimes they'd pile up in a shoe box. If I found that shoe box 20 years later I could still see the photos!
Hand coloured (with an actual painbrush and photographic paints) photo of my son taken in December 1995 proudly displayed in my office. He's 20 now! Oh and I still use that ball as a prop!
I enjoyed being creative in the darkroom but not so much the smelly chemicals and segregation from the rest of the world with running water, a loud fan, and a red light. I must say I much prefer the digital darkroom!
There are more photographs taken today then ever before, and fewer printed than ever before. What would happen if Facebook and Instagram and your harddrive all disappeared? Scary thought!
Sad to think of going through grandma's chest in the attic and finding only silver shiny discs covered in dust. No treasured old photo album to see what your parents looked like as children, or photos of your wedding for your children to see because your photographer only sold you a 'disc' that you never got around to doing anything with and now the media is obsolete and files have degraded and are unreadable.
Backing up your photos on multiple drives and to the newest storage media are good short term solutions. A better option might be to use a cloud service, but where will they be decades into the future?
Simple solution. Print what's important. Not everything, wow, could you imagine?? I have like 3000 photos of my cats alone on my phone! Just do some culling and print what you'd be sad to lose!
There are many companies out there that print photos. You want to make sure that the media they are printing on is archival and not cheap inkjet that will fade in a few years. Most drug stores and big box stores use ink jet or a lower quality, thin photographic paper. You could ask what the longevity and what brand of paper/ ink they use.
I recommend a prosumer lab such as Atlantic Photo Supply in Halifax,NS or Ivans Camera in Moncton, NB. They may cost a little more but you know you are getting true quality, long lasting prints.
So go have fun taking photos and then print them!