A few months back, I was headed into the building where my psychiatrist has his office. On the walkway to the building, I stopped and took a picture of something that struck me funny on one of the benches. Saved the picture to post later with some funny caption.
Later, I was listening to NPR and this episode of All Things Considered was playing. Listening to the idea that taking pictures so often and so readily may be creating false memories got me thinking.
There was a time when I really wrote more than #hashtags and 140 characters and snarky comments. When I first moved to Colorado in 2005, I would write emails to folks back home about my new life. They would be detailed tales of adventure...well, maybe adventure is a bit dramatic. Anyway, people would respond with compliments on how they could envision everything I said because of the way I wrote it.
What does this have to do with memories and pictures and a shrink's office and a radio show?
When I was writing those emails, I had to draw from my memory. I didn't have a smart phone and couldn't send emails, texts, or post to Twitter and/or Facebook in the moment. It wasn't until I got to the computer that I could get the experiences out to others. This all made memory so important.
Then, I got MySpace and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and an iPhone and whatever the hell else made me able to just post crap at will. I'd take a picture, write a caption, post it. What more do you need? No taking time to absorb details; to make a mental image; to then translate to words for others to read.
So, back to the picture I snapped outside of my sanity-meds-prescriber's office. I deleted it, but I haven't forgotten it.
A few months back, I was headed into the building where my psychiatrist has his office. On the walkway to the building, I caught a glimpse of something that made me chuckle. A few concrete benches are around the outside of the building. On one of the benches was a small container of Activa yogurt. It was opened and had a metal spoon with it and sitting with the sun shining upon it. I know, YUM! I laughed because in my mind I was coming up with an explanation for why it had been abandoned. As we've all come to learn from Jamie Lee Curtis, Activa aids in digestion, helps make you regular. Well, perhaps a little Activa went a long way for the person who left it on the bench.
As I walked in the building and passed the hallway to the restrooms, I thought of the poor soul who must have been in one of the stalls.