Social Media, iPhones, and Memory


I had a friend in high school who had garnered a lot of attention after high school. Because we went to college and he did other things that seemed a lot more exciting, like climbing rocks all day. Collectively, those of us doomed on the coast often lamented that this friend seemed to be doing so much cool stuff.

Then, I met with someone who lived with that friend.

The Facebook Effect

The Someone told me something very simple: “Oh, man. He loves pretending that he does that stuff all the time, he’s so careful about his Facebook photos.”

Thus, the truth was struck. The friend represented on Facebook was the manufactured image of a political campaign intended to showcase only the grandest achievements, somehow only taking the most picturesque building blocks to build the foundation of a whole personality.

These days, memory has become more malleable than ever. Google Glass, which allows people to see high-definition, live-streaming video from another person’s eyes, is going to wrestle the exclusivity of self experience from our hands in a way that was never possible before.

Meanwhile, we all carefully manicure our moments by taking photographs of the ones we want to remember most. Rather than thinking back to a holistic vision of the past, we have favorable cornerstones.

I wrote the short story, “Memory Board,” as a way to experiment with how far this kind of will go. It’s part of my short story collection, “Technology & Culture Stink!

There’s a product in “Memory Board” called mySight, which are contact lenses that transmit a computer screen to the user. The same year, Google Glass was announced.

Already, my satirical sci-fi short story was obsolete.

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