With so many of us being dead against posting our personal stories on Facebook, Twitter and other digital networking channels, let us tell you that there’s a new study which suggests that posting our personal stories on makes it easier for us to recall them. The entire process of documenting these stories, sharing them with others and discussing them on these channels not only works as an outlet for us but also makes it easier for us to track them down later. It doesn’t matter whether you’re sharing sad or happy moments, you will be in a better position to remember them later.
So it is really not of any consequence whether you are looking to find that rare picture of the Bonaire Island, clicked while you were holidaying there (you can find out more about Bonaire Island at DX news) or are just trying to remember the date when your best friend left the city for a better job- if you had posted them/about them on social media, you will be able to find them.
Posting about personal experiences on social media: What it entails
Qi Wang, the main author of the study and professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology, opines that if you want to remember your personal experiences the best way would be to put them online. Wang is an expert in personal memory and he also opines that by posting, recalling and evaluating our memories on social media, we’re also creating a sense of our self. We might not even notice this happening but it does happen nonetheless. We are not only sharing our experience on the digital networking channels by posting about them but also, in a way, shaping who we are.
Needless to say, with its special Memory feature, Facebook deserves special mention here. The social networking site occasionally shows you pictures and posts from the previous years- clearly prompting you to revisit those experiences. Wang very appropriately reminds us that our memory is selective. However, once we’re posting our thoughts, experiences and feelings on these social networking sites, we’re actually giving the power of selection to an external source. Selecting the same is no more in our hands.
A study which confirms the role played by social media in influencing our retention power
Dasom Lee, Wang and Yubo Hou (Perking University) had asked 66 undergraduates from Cornell to maintain a daily diary for a week. They noted down the special experiences they had every day and also recorded whether they had posted this on social media or not. They even rated the significance of the event on a scale of 1 to 5 based on emotional intensity and personal importance. At the end of the week, they were asked to take a surprise test on how well they could remember the events. It was found that the events posted online were remembered better than the ones that were not posted.
This particular research is mainly focused on the better understanding of self in the digital era.