Contemplating Memory

As we become experienced in this business of life, we start to spend more time reflecting on memories of the past. 

People of a certain age, you know who we are, grew up in an era where video of our early life is virtually non-existent. Some still photographs may exist that are mostly limited to vacations, family gatherings and school or sports team pictures. They play like a highlight reel of our lives and afford us the opportunity to filter out the less attractive moments and embellish the memories that shine a more positive light on our youth. 

I'm not sure how digital media will impact memory. There was a short period, and a box of tapes in the basement as proof, when family life was often thoroughly documented on video but most of us no longer have the technology or time to view the tapes. Life highlights are now captured by phone cameras and posted on social media in the form of short video snippets, selfies and pictures. We tend to curate, edit and self filter what we keep and share to put ourselves and our experiences in the most positive light. 

What will become of the digital mass of videos and images we are collecting? Many are already locked and lost on floppy disks, CD's, old hard drives and other media that most of us lack the ability or technology to access. I suspect many of us only maintain an inventory of images that are on our currently active devices. Future historians may mine old storage devices and social media memory banks for information about how we lived in the not so distant past but I wonder how accurately those images will depict our real lives. 

Perhaps we are managing technology in a way that is really no different from generations past to support our desire to create an idealized personal and public perception of our memories.

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