September 11, 2012

‘If you didn’t take a photo, it didn’t happen”

Today I read a really interesting post about media + memory by none other than the extremely brainy Seth Godin.

It made me think. But I guess that’s the point: when do we ever really stop and think?

In a world of morning tweets, news streams, visual stories and digital messages in all various forms, we are actually living in a different, digital world. We used to do things in person and therefore remember events for what they were – not the photos on Facebook. Is the media hindering our memory?

If you actually stopped and tried to remember what you did 6 months ago, or 3 months or 1 month – could you?

At first – I agreed with the below:

As we continually replace real life with ever shorter digital updates, what happens to the memories we build for ourselves and the people we serve? More and more, we don’t remember what actually happened to us, but what we’ve encountered digitally. It scales, but does it matter in the same way? ~ Seth’s Blog

But then, I got thinking. Actually, I remember more now than I ever could by using social media. Obviously I still do a lot offline. I’m living my life as normal but I just live tweet it. We are on the move, we aren’t sitting at computer all day (well except when I’m in the office) – we’re on apps via our smartphones and doing everything on the move. I even post through this blog via my phone now.

So, by archiving all my activity online and having this blog and my social feeds to capture my life – I feel more in tune with my progress and social activity more than anything. I feel like I am truly documenting it. And sometimes, if it really is a special moment (for example there is no documentation from my grandfather’s funeral last month) this remains firming engrained in my memory forever. No photo, update or text would capture that moment.

It’s now rather rare for a moment not to be documented, and this makes it all the more special. But all means, I will snap away if I am at a launch party, on holiday or looking at a visually stunning scene that I want to refer back to. To help me remember what the location and atmosphere was like. And for these day-to-day events, I like tracking them online and remembering them as I could easily let them slip away.

I know I’ve said it before, but if you haven’t already – look into getting TimeHop. I get updates daily of the tweets I sent a year ago and it triggers what I did that day and how I felt. It’s kind of nice seeing ‘year-ago-me’ and what she did.

Thanks Seth, your blog posts continue to get me thinking.

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