Monthly Archives: December 2011

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Your Memory Inbox is Full

By Laura Corbett

I was recently tagged in a photo from nearly two years ago on Facebook. Upon seeing this photo I immediately was flooded with memories of my backpacking trip around Europe with my best friend. These positive memories were short lived when the next thought popped into my head “Wow! I was a lot more chubby than I remembered….” this led to a spiral of self reflection about my body image and how I’ve changed both physically, mentally and emotionally throughout the years. Would I have been better off with simply my memories? Do photos and the ability to see them instantly and keep them forever ruin the preciousness and uniqueness of our own memories? Before this was possible all we had were the images we created in our own minds. We could access them when we pleased, and they were exactly how we wanted to remember them. Some fade over time, others remain fresh as the day they happened; but isn’t that how its meant to be? Do we over load our minds with data by keeping digital copies of our memories? Shouldn’t we naturally make room for new thoughts and reflections?

While its great to have reminders of the good things in the past, we may too often dwell on the negative. Life is too short to dwell. We often find ourselves worried about how a certain picture we post will make others view or judge us. My trip to Europe would have remained positive and unclouded by my reflection of my physical appearance, had I not been tagged in that photo. Don’t get me wrong, I love photography and the way it enables us to see things we may not have had a chance to see otherwise; but I also believe in moderation. Technology in essence makes our memories (and associated emotions) permanent, and sometimes inescapable. So enjoy things while they are happening. Soak up the moment and don’t worry so much about capturing that photo to remember it later. You will always have your memory database in your head. Isn’t that enough?

Emotional baggage 2.0: Memory, Personality and Technology

By A.J. Barroso

Picture this: an individual’s emotional baggage as gauged by organic memory and experience. Take this image and place it within the context of modern technology. Does today’s technology take away a part of the individual? Does it affect ones memory and personality? Of course it does.

This is emotional baggage 2.0. One can argue that it benefits us with respect to storing and sharing our thoughts and memories. But it’s deeper than that. I would argue that rather than technology taking a part of us away, it weights us down with added emotional baggage within this context. With all the digital experiences and memories we’ve amassed throughout the years, one doesn’t usually think about the fact that all of this remains with us on our hardrives and inboxes as well as in our minds.

This example is especially manifested when one goes through their inbox or old pictures and initiates a “memory purge”. The ennui of emotional baggage: it plagues us and we don’t know it. And what is worse is when we get that “almost full” notification on our system we are forced with two decisions: Delete, in the hopes of no regrets or have a bittersweet reminiscing. Both paths are inevitably dark or have dark elements.

Now picture this: a mind, personality and inbox cleansed. In the famous song “Bag Lady” by neo-soul artist Erykah Badu: Pack light.

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Follow A.J. at @mraaronjoshua