What are Facebook Memories doing to our Actual Memories?

I’m the first to admit that I adore the “On This Day” stuff from Facebook.  I love that it brings up all my posts from that day in previous years.  I get to admire my adorable children all over again, remember funny things they said that I had forgotten about, and of course see lots of pictures of my dogs. 

I’ve even fallen into the trap of feeling like I need to post good things that I’ll enjoy seeing again one, two, or five years down the road.  Yep, they saw me coming a mile away.  I’ll be using Facebook until I die.

Unfortunately, I also remember lots of things that I didn’t want to remember or that really weren’t all that memorable in the first place.  Who cares if I burnt the lasagna on November 17 of 2010?  Well, I’m sure I cared that night, but I really don’t anymore.

What this makes me wonder is if this is affecting how I remember things from my past.  When I think about my childhood, it’s this series of bright images with a lot of emotions mixed in, lots of sunshine at the edges, and some really intense colors.  My Facebook memories are only colored by what I posted.  I feel like I’m remembering these things as posts instead of actual events.

And then of course there’s the fact that not everything was recorded on social media.  Unlike some people (and you know who you are) I don’t post every single tiny detail of my life.  I’m not just talking about having a great sandwich but the ups and downs of relationships.  It seems that the events I remember happening in my adult life (even once I had FB) that I did NOT turn into statuses are inherently clearer than those that I DID post.  I can put myself back in those times and really feel what was going on inside me at the moment.  The imagery, if you will, is much more intense.  Does these mean I’m only posting inane stuff that I don’t mind sharing with the world instead of posting what really matters to me?

I also have to wonder if I’ll forget things that happened in real life because I’m relying on Facebook to remember them for me.  I can be pretty terrible at remembering to go to the post office or make an important phone call, and that has nothing to do with social media. 

Am I being affected by screen time?  Is it dulling my senses to real life?  What about my kids?  What will their childhood memories be like?  Let me know what you think.

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2 Comments

Filed under Random Things

2 responses to “What are Facebook Memories doing to our Actual Memories?

  1. I’ve given up on Facebook. I do enjoy seeing the odd ‘On this Day’ post but they also remind me of things I’d rather forget – old relationships, bad jobs. I haven’t posted in almost two years and I’m glad that all my memories are now somewhere else than Facebook. I’d rather remember the whole picture than the online life.

    • I don’t blame you! I love seeing the good ones, but not the ones that remind me of unhappy times. Even posts that aren’t necessarily bad can still serve as reminders of people or situations I’d rather forget.

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