Social Media as Memory

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The only thing I love more than Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is social media. While I was studying abroad I contemplated keeping track of my doings by keeping a blog. I thought about what I would write about and how I would make my blog different from the numerous poorly written, boring study abroad blogs that I'd read. I decided to keep a "picture a day" blog where I would just write a little blurb about the pictures I posted. This attempt ended very quickly once I realized that I was essentially creating a blog that was doing the same thing I could do with my Instagram account. I stopped the blog and just kept up my Twitter and Instagram accounts, attempting to post at least once a day. My social media accounts became a journal of my time in Scotland. Social media isn't something you have to put to much thought into, it's immediate. It's a log of what you were thinking exactly at the time you were thinking it. You can go back at anytime and scroll through your weeks and months and be reminded of how you were feeling and what you were doing.
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Gavin Oliver's picture

I enjoyed reading your post!

I enjoyed reading your post! I, too, find Twitter to be like a journal in its ability to recount many distinguishing past events, actions, and thoughts. Social media is unique in that people using Twitter and other outlets eventually acquire what is called "ambient awareness," or insight into the life of another social media participant through a series of Tweets that tell the story of a person.

kglasso's picture

Mary Rose you are great

I just laughed out loud at the first line of this post. I may like Ben & Jerry's a little more than social media, but I still love it all the same. I think it's great that you utilized social media to record your time in Scotland and you have a generally positive attitude of social media. I think in this day and age it gets a pretty bad reputation but we forget how much our lives are convenienced by social media.

briana.993's picture

I really enjoyed your post!

I really enjoyed your post! Social media does seem to be the closest most people get to the process of life-logging. It's not as extreme as the people Thompson interviewed but it essentially gets the same job done. The cool thing about social media though is that it's not just a journal to remind yourself about your life but it's also a means to share it with the outside world. In less extreme terms than life-loggers we are giving others a glimpse into all the little details and tasks that make up our lives.

mkozma's picture

Hey MR

This made me laugh because it is so you. But at the same time sounds like something I would definitely do. When I studied abroad I had this same idea, only instead of a picture a day I thought I would do like a video blog or something like that. Which I later realized WAS EXACTLY WHAT SNAPCHAT WAS.

How silly of me.
Hahahaha. Nevertheless you bring up some great points about forgetting to record those little moments in life. Luckily snapchat is making that easier for us, but at the same time I would maybe like not having to think about it and just have my phone recording everything when I'm doing something cool. That should be an option right? Well at least make it so that we can do that without draining our batteries.

We are all "life-loggers" as Thompson calls it, but we could always take it one step further than snapchat and instagram.

laurenew's picture

Social media is great

I think social media is an awesome reminder of all the good memories you've made when you're in need of one! It's also a great way to share your memories with others and a less radical form of "life-logging" than keeping a camera on hand 24/7 to record your every move. Social media lets you remember the very best parts of your experiences - you don't have to post the bad parts, and quickly they become distant memories.