Saturday, September 15, 2012

Does Facebook Help Our Memory?

How do you capture your memories? Thanks to the gift of social media, your Facebook, your Instagram and even these blogs are now in charge of capturing our life stories. Besides the obnoxious compulsive hankering you may have for scrapbooking projects that you start and never finish (this may be just me)...when was the last time you actually printed a stack of photos from your phone, camera or Facebook to retain a memory that you can hold? In contrast, how often do you look through your or your friend's Facebook timeline and relived some good times through its pictures, posts and status updates? Isn't it weird what used to be a normal practice for saving memories is now usually saved solely during the holidays for a gift? 

Although this may seem like a Saturday morning prattle over my coffee, I actually have a reason for bringing this up. PBS recently posted a YouTube video that asks Is Facebook Changing our Identity? It discusses Facebook, specifically, and how easy it helps our memory by having an electronic fallback. Using Facebook enables us to paint our picture of our identity by the events that we attend, the pictures that we take and the statuses we post. Making memories is hard enough and as we get older, how can we remember it all without the assistance of social media? 

Don't believe me? Go click back a couple of years on that timeline that everyone is complaining about...When I clicked on 2009, I found pictures and posts of one of my favorite trips to NYC, our trip to Gaylord ICE where we took the best pictures ever, Megan's 30th Birthday party and a gem where I prattled about 25 things about me, some that I still resonate with three years later. There is even photographic documentation of me playing with my first Iphone. With one click of a button, my life in 2009 is documented...and this is when I was only on Facebook a wee bit. How many boxes of photos would I have to drag out of the closet to capture these memories if not for social media?  

Check out this You Tube video where it dives a little deeper philosophically. It talks about what Facebook is doing for your memory like what Google does for facts and information searching. It reasons that Facebook's new timeline layout is enhancing the ability to construct our self identity by super-charging our memory.

This is the latest episode on PBS Digital Studios’ weekly Web series,‘Idea Channel’. hosted by Mike Rugnetta and produced by Kornhaber Brown. Another reason besides Downton Abbey (WHEN is that coming back on?), that PBS is now cooler than ever.



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