A friend and I were chatting on whatsapp recently when this little bit was part of the exchange. The context was about transformation of personalities, which however is irrelevant for this post.

Young Friend: Sir, do you find good memory a blessing or a curse?

Yours Truly: A blessing for me. I don’t have many bad ones in my life to handle. I know some good friends who had many unpleasantnesses in their growing up who wish they had poorer memories.

I often wish that I had a poorer memory when some thoughts of the past, not necessarily negative, but of pain like the death of a loved one, or a couple of lost opportunities due to prior commitments come up. Overwhelmingly however, I have pleasant memories to cheer me up like the many good things that have happened in my life, and continue to happen.

Memory however is now not necessarily a great asset as just about everything can be stored away somewhere called the cloud and recalled at need. I wonder if people will therefore stop using their memories in the future like my generation did and do now. I see some examples like when I go shopping, when I do not need a calculator to total up a list of figures, whereas much younger assistants do.

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20 Responses to Memory.

  1. tammy j says:

    interesting ideas.
    before we got our computers and the program designed specifically for what we did…
    give out information about our state and make reservations for all the state owned resorts and parks…
    my memory (as well as my co-workers) was incredible. i could remember at will all kinds of trivial and historical information… names… dates… descriptions… locations… mileage… on and on.
    NOW since my retirement i have purposely let all that go! i have no need for it and it’s amazing now what i CANNOT recall! the trusty computer does it!
    so yes. i can see people in the future not needing to remember anything really.
    i think it might be a bit strange. but not to them probably.
    they all keep a smart phone with them now 24/7. they can look up ANYTHING!
    tammy j recently posted..moving on old bean

    • My tutor in Business School once told me that a good memory is unnecessary except to have enough ability to know where to find information. I think that about sums about good memory vs bad memory!

  2. Wisewebwoman says:

    I have very clear memories of both good and bad, sad and happy. Some still cloud. Some shine.

  3. Looney says:

    I have delegated the chore of remembering to my wife.
    Looney recently posted..Resistance is Futile

  4. It’s interesting to note how people use technology doing something as simple as grocery shopping. Lists are created on iphones, iphone calculators are used to add up purchases, partners are phoned to check up on what might be missing from the list, and so on… As for memory I think our ability to retrieve information is changing. It’s so easy to just type in a word or two and get any information we need.

  5. nick says:

    I have a terrible memory, but unfortunately the surviving memories include all the dismal experiences of my childhood. I would love to find them all gone one day and only the happy memories remaining. I would also love more complete memories of things like holidays and friendships, which tend to become very sketchy very quickly.
    nick recently posted..Try being human

    • That is the sad part of all our lives. Our memory tends to bring up all the unpleasant things in our past more than the good ones. The trick is in learning to lessen the former and increasing the latter deliberately.

  6. Ursula says:

    Memory can be peculiarly selective – at least in my case. Occasionally, not often, but shocking when brought to my attention, I literally blend out certain occurrences. By way of example, the Angel had an accident a few years ago. I wasn’t there so maybe that’s partly why it didn’t anchor in my memory. Yet, was shaken the other day, when he relived the visit to A&E, blood pouring, the temporary bandage, the stitches. And I, HIS MOTHER, had forgotten all about it. As if it hadn’t registered with me. How strange is that?

    Ursula recently posted..Chat chat chat

  7. shackman says:

    I have an excellent memory. My mind is a steel trap for useless information. It has made me an excellent trivial pursuit player. Now that is useful.

  8. Andy and I remember different things, which is great. Between the two of us we have twice the memory. 🙂

    We have tons of pictures, which help refresh our memories. The internet is great for helping us figure out some events, but it will never replace our personal memories.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..It Was Worth a Try

    • I am toying with the idea of a blog post on Memory Triggers which will include photographs and albums. It is particularly frequent now with modern social media tools.

  9. I love it when the retail business loses power and can’t open their cash drawers/tils – or can’t seem to add up simple amounts of money – let alone work out how to give change!

    i.e. you give them $5 for a $3.50 sale and they can’t work out the change required or count it back into your hand!

  10. Big John says:

    “I do not need a calculator to total up a list of figures, whereas much younger assistants do.” … My elderly wife purchased a few small items in a pharmacy and handed the assistant the correct amount of cash, only to be asked by an amazed young assistant … “How did you do that ?”

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