Outsourcing Our Memory

The March 12 edition of Time magazine has an article on ten ideas that are changing our lives. One idea has to do with the amount of information we take in on any given day. According to the article, “Each day, the average American spends about 12 hours consuming information, taking in more than 100,000 words that total 34 gigabytes of data.” Whew! One point of the article is that we can only cram so much information into our heads before it begins to leak out, and more and more we are relying on the Internet to “store” our memory. All we have to remember is where we put the information or where we can find it when we need to retrieve it again. Because of this, the article continues, we aren’t even trying to remember because we don’t have to. Our “memory” is stored, not in our heads, but somewhere in cyberspace.

I am so glad to hear that because my memory is like a sieve and has been for a long time. I don’t think I can possibly remember One. More. Thing. At least not any new thing. My problem is more complicated, though. I can’t remember old things either. Is there a place online that I can store memories before they become too old, like in five minutes, so I can retrieve them when I need to? Just think how much easier life would become:

Hubby: “Honey, where did you put that check I asked you to deposit?”
Me: “Darned if I know. Why don’t you check the Internet?”

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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22 Responses to Outsourcing Our Memory

  1. pattisj says:

    I think I’m still running on a floppy disk!

  2. Just know you are not alone and we all rely heavily on the cyberspace. But that’s no consolation to help you find where your check is, is it?

  3. Dor says:

    Oh, what a great idea – outsourcing our memory. I would love to have a sort of bank in cyberspace that would remind me not to forget my list! Great post Susan.

  4. If you need more memory…dropbox.com is where you can find my brain. I haven’t used a flashdrive since I discovered it…two years ago…Now if something happens to them, I’m in big trouble.

    • Coming East says:

      My son has told me about drop box, Georgette. I’m going to have him show me how it works when we visit at Easter. I use iCloud, but I don’t understand it very well.

  5. I’ve found myself unlikely to remember things like appointments, meetings, lessons, etc. unless I put them in what I call my “portable brain” (my phone). I don’t know if it’s because I know I have an alternative place to note it or if it’s just because I’ve gotten bad at remembering what I used to be good at remembering. I’d love to blame it on the former, but I still keep a wall calendar and write things on it, as well…

  6. E.C. says:

    I agree. It’s easier to forget thoughts and memories if you think they’re safely stored somewhere for us to reach in relative ease. Great post. 🙂

  7. Amy says:

    I am waiting for the day made by glass to come. It’d be so nice if we could all depend on a piece of glass to learn, remember, and retrieve things.

  8. Margie says:

    I think the simple explanation is that by a certain age our hard drives are full. We have to kick out some information in order to store other information!

  9. Al says:

    Even worse is deja vu with memory loss.. That’s the feeling that you’ve forgotten this before.

  10. When you find that storage bank into which I can put my memories, let me know. Of course, then I’ll have to bookmark the site, then I’ll have to remember that it is listed under Bookmarks and what I called it. I can give you the most unimportant details of “old stuff” just don’t ask me to remember why I walked from the kitchen to the living room, or (to use your example) why I drove to the bank as I’m sitting in the drive through line!!

  11. Yes. Sometimes I think about doing something so much, I begin to think I actually did it. I swear I called and told you I was running late. YOU forgot.

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