Facebook-sharing memories through the click of a button

* Video by Mike Rugnetta, 2012, ‘Is Facebook Changing Our Identity’.

As Andrew pointed out in this week’s lecture, the “experience of memory is a dynamic relationship between remembering and forgetting, habit and conscious thought, as one pays attention to one’s movement through the world” (Murphie 2013).

Therefore, you can say human memory consists of conscious thought of what to and what not to remember (and then share). Memory is also enhanced by media, as media platforms such Facebook, or television news, allow us to “remix” our current experience via media (Murphie 2013). In turn, our memory is not only enhanced by media, but also complimented.

To take it further, not only does media enhance and compliment memory, but it also increases the scope of who our memories can be shared with (and how quickly). This is something that is drawn upon in the above video “Is Facebook Changing Our Identity”. In the video, Mike Rugnetta demonstrates how memory is stored “using timeline to use an ‘imagined’ alternate digital version of yourself, thus offloading the less pleasant parts of tendering to your own memory” and describes how in the past, ” making memories [was] really hard” (Rugnetta 2012). However, through the help of social media platforms such as Facebook, memories are not only easily stored, but also shared at a quicker rate. Instead of having to sit a friend or family member down and communicate with them face-to-face, we can now share our memories with all our 500 friends on Facebook through picture albums and uploading videos.

Personally, I think Facebook deserves a round of applause. Gone are the days we have to rummage through our cupboards to dig out the old family photo albums or scrapbooks. Now with the click of a button, we can entrain our friends with a virtual experience of our own memories (even from the comfort of their own bedroom).

Research conducted by Daniel Bajic, Ryan Darby and Vivian Hwe of UC San Diego, and Jill Warker of the University of Scranton, found  “Facebook status updates were one-and-a-half times more memorable than sentences from books and two-and-a-half times more memorable than faces” (Mielach 2013). In his article, Mielach describes his as the ‘Facebook Effect’ and suggests that ones of the reasons people are more likely to remember something published on Facebook is because digital communication, communication made on social media, quite often reflects communicative used in social settings and conversations (Mielach 2013).

What consequences does this hold?

Well, while it is easier to share our memories to a wider audience and at a faster rate, it is important to remember that these memories can have long-lasting impressions. So you may want to remember this the next day you post a Facebook status about your day at work.

List of References

Mielach, D, 2013, ‘How Facebook Affects Your Memory’, in Business News Daily, < http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/3757-facebook-effect-memory.html >, accessed on 20 April 2013.

Murphie, A., 2013, Seminar on 27 March 2013, ‘Individual, Social and Global Memory’, Sydney.

Rugnetta, M., 2012, ‘Is Facebook Changing Our Identity’, PBS Idea Channel, < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRiGZJQZ_X4 >, accessed on 25 March 2013.

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