In the age of cell phones, YouTube, Facebook, and computers, memories have become something different. Everywhere we go and everything we do can be recorded on cell phone cameras and Flip video cameras to be shared with the world and stored on our computers and Facebook accounts.
It’s great that we can now capture every memory, however small, and share them with friends and family for years to come. But what we often don’t think about is that these memories aren’t stored for just several years to come, but forever. Computers don’t forget (ignoring fatal error messages).
Everything is stored for the possibility that someday we will need it again. IM conversations are logged. Pictures and word documents stored away. And if it’s posted on the internet, a server in some remote and cold room is taking note of it. Unlike writing in the sand that’s slowly washed away, or our own memories which slowly fade and distort, these “memories” are here to stay. It’s a new kind of memory, the silicon memory.
Two gigs of memory used to be a lot for a computer, and we thought, “Why would we ever need more room?” Now we have terabyte hard drives. If we were to empty our hard drives into the physical world, everyone would look like hoarders. Every little piece of information kept, just in case it’s needed.
I read an article a while back saying that computers should be designed to forget things over the years. I’m not sure if that’s such a good idea, since I forget too much already, but is some interesting food for thought.
This is another photo from the .38 Special concert.