March 10, 2013

Sieve-head.

You know something that scares me? I have recently realised how bad my memory is. One of the main reasons this concerns me is because one day I would love to be thought of as a ‘proper writer’ (pfft whatever that means sorry Carrie Bradshaw but you could never afford those Manolos yourself, everyone knows OK) and all of my favourite authors write auto or semi-autobiographical texts. I imagine them putting the kettle on and sitting down with their laptop, instantly able to wallow in their past, or delve deep down the back alley of their brain and dig out little gems from their childhood. I bet they could meet an old version of themselves and have an honest conversation. I recently read an interview with one of my favourite novelists who said they could vividly remember how they felt about an incident that happened 10 years ago. Me? I wouldn’t say I’m like that Dory fish from Finding Nemo, but I just can’t go back that far.

photosI wonder if this crazy tech-savvy world we live in partly responsible. My day to day life (career and personal life) are so fast-paced, everything is real time, I write for the Telegraph on Fridays and constantly need to be up to speed with the news. It happened 3 days ago? That’s old news. I want to know what’s happening now, or what will happen in 5 minutes. Perhaps my brain is getting pickier by the day and if it isn’t hyper-relevant it gets pushed out and into the bin. The sad thing about having this real-time head on my shoulders is a very rarely think back to the past. Maybe one of the reasons I am so snap-happy is because if I forget to take a picture, I fear I might forget that it happened. On recent holidays my boyfriend has often urged me to stop Instagramm’ing and just be in the moment. He’s made me better at it but sometimes I just want to make sure what I’m seeing is saved down somewhere, because that way if my brain forgets further down the line then at least there’s a hard copy. The thing is, a photo doesn’t actually save a memory. It’s just this 2D version that stares blankly back at you.

Only being able to remember things once prompted can be a dangerous thing. I know it’s normal to only remember someone’s birthday because good old Facebook waggles it’s smug finger and tells you to say Happy Birthday to your best mate. But before the Internet I swear peoples memories must have been better. Instead of Googling an address, or finding someone’s mobile number you’d have to just remember it surely? I remember my Nan used to say my Granddad cycled miles to her house to ask her out, and he must have just had to remember the route. People lose touch easily these days, but often a photo popping up on your laptop screen-saver can be a memory jog ‘oh YEAH, we used to have fun, me and [insert name of old friend]. I might give her a call’. The question is, if you hadn’t seen that photo, would you have cared or thought about it? Perhaps not. Taking time out to actually think, reflect and go back in time is such a rarity. I’ve actually just downloaded that Headspace app on my phone, which encourages you just to take ten minutes a day to step away from the madness. Ten minutes may sound like nothing, but I honestly don’t think I’ve had even ten minutes to myself for a long time. Unless I’m asleep of course.

My new year’s resolution was to slow down. And by that I mean un-plug myself more frequently from the shackles of my iPhone and work inbox. To stop refreshing, and instead do something refreshing. It seems to be working and with that, enabled me to stop wanting to be the first one to tweet the news but instead have a little down-time, time to reflect and actually appreciate what’s going on around me.

So, with that in mind, here’s two funny things jogged my memory this week:

  • MSN is shutting down on the 15th March:
    MSN messenger was my first real introduction social media, and hilariously my first real introduction to online flirting. Something that at the time was so new and exciting to now be dubbed ‘retro’ is kind of strange, and the fact that it’s shutting down speaks volumes about the world we live in and how far technology has come. The reason this is so interesting is also the fact that platforms are not immortal. We adapt to the latest software and we evolve in time with what we’re being offered. MSN was the Facebook of the 90’s and we can only wonder what the next big thing will be. For a funny little trip down memory lane, here’s some tweets from @MSNMemories.
  • The Big Reunion:
    When I was younger I used to think pop stars were these other-beings and that they must be eternal millionaires, all of them. Although it is entertaining to see 5ive, Atomic Kitten, B*Witched etc all back together for a 90’s reunion on ITV, there is something equally quite sad about it. Maybe they genuinely just want to re-live their golden years one last time (I don’t blame them) or they just really need the publicity because they need more work. I guess it just shows that success might not be forever, that you need to be careful you don’t waste away your earnings or become complacent. The band members returning on our screens is bitter-sweet; although I’m enjoying hearing those classic 5ive tunes again, I can’t help but think it’s better to burn out than to fade away.

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