There is a big discussion among the Photography association that this could be the Century of lost photographs. Why? It is simply because in the days of film everything HAD to make it to a print. I have heard so many sad stories of people just leaving the pictures on their flash card or flash drive or even just dumping them on their home computer.
The issues with this are... all hard drives fail... that's right they All do. Flash cards and drives fail as well. Furthermore updates to formats such as jpeg formats do not ensure that they will be compatible with future hardware or software which could render them unusable, and at some point certainly will. Jpeg which is the most popular format also degrades every time the file is opened or closed meaning that they will degrade in quality and at some point will present a corrupt file which is unusable.
If you have not thought about this before, start thinking about it now. Before you have a drive failure or computer crash which causes you to lose your precious memories. The best way for now without getting into a huge discussion is to put them on a CD or DVD disk and store them safely. Ideally you would have two copies with one somewhere else so that if the disk fails you have a backup.
It is also a good reason to buy prints. Prints are tangible, they actually allow you to display and share your pictures and ensure that long after you have gone, others will still have the treasure of photographs which made up your life and the memories in it. Today you can order books that have tons of pictures and it can be almost as inexpensive as buying individual prints. For small prints it does not matter much what you do... the detail and so forth is not that critical. If it is a larger print, let a professional photographer create the photograph to fix any anomalies and do a final print which will show the quality, color, and detail of the prints.
The bottom line is that your photographs will not be important to just you, your family and children will treasure them for years, even your great grandchildren will look back on these photographs, if you give them the chance.