Thinking about some recent experiences on Facebook has led me back to a path that I’ve been mentally reviewing for a while. The connectivity that exists there led me to experience some photos of myself having unruly fun a long time ago. Looking at the photos really threw me for a loop because although I remembered the situations in a general sense, it reminded me how much I didn’t remember about what I was doing and thinking and experiencing at that point in my life.
Not only do I, and most people, not even experience most of what’s going on around us in the first place, what we do experience is short lived. Very quickly along the path of becoming permanent memories the facts get colored, appended and forgotten. I don’t think I’m unique in noticing that my memories of what happened 5, 10 or 15 years ago bear only a general resemblance to fact.
For those that saw the movie Memento it is blatant how much we rely on memory, but I can’t help but think of that movie as a metaphor for people in general. I think everyone has a tie to Leonard, in being a victim of our inability to remember what happened. (BTW: If you liked the movie, read this)
I find myself surrounded by notes, not unlike Leonard – My post-its, my Google calendar, my whiteboard – all of these tools are testament to how much I share with this guy. Judging by the selection of tools on the market to help people remember stuff, I’m not alone.
If we’re all constantly forgetting what little we know, how do we remember anything at all?
I mean, before Post-It notes.