3 Explanations for Saving Memories Beyond Social Media
7 min read
We all love to scroll through social media, looking at photos of friends, keeping up with news or sports, or following our favourite celebrities.
Many of us also enjoy posting to social media, sharing those memorable photographs from summer vacation or adding an old picture from our youth.
But should we rely on social media to save our life’s memories? It’s fun to look at those posts, but do you get the full benefit of preserving the stories behind the post? And then there are social media privacy concerns. From protecting your children to avoiding concerns from employers, social media is not a private platform to capture all your life’s adventures.
Let’s take a look at why it’s a good idea to create more robust accounts of big events and everyday happenings. Here are 3 explanations for saving memories beyond social media.
1. Protect Your Privacy
Social media is a wonderful way to stay in touch with old friends and remain connected with new friends. We can learn about different cultures, enjoy the work of skilled photographers or artists, follow social movements or favourite businesses, and stay on top of current events.
But even if you think you’ve got the right social media privacy settings, there are still concerns with what you share. We’ve heard about employers checking on prospective employees, and many parents are becoming more cautious about what information they share about their children online.
And there are other reasons why you should store memories in private and not on social media. The personal information on social media is open to data mining. Besides name, birthdate and location, information is also stored on how you interact with the platform. That is stored and leveraged to target advertising and sometimes shared with third-party entities.
And then there are phishing attempts, where criminals get access to more sensitive information; malware sharing, where software gets access to computers; and botnet attacks, which are automated accounts that create posts or automatically follow new people and then steal data, send spam, and more.
That doesn’t mean you can’t share anything, or you need to give up on social media entirely. It just means it is important to check your privacy settings, and be cautious about sharing personal details or over-sharing when you post. It also means you can consider saving digital memories in ways other than just social media, particularly when you’re concerned about privacy and you want to create private stories.
2. Social Media May Actually Hinder Your Brain’s Ability to Store Memories
We might think that all those social media posts are helping us remember the big moments in our lives. That’s partly true, as long as you actually go back and look at previous posts. Or, you know where to find them on your social media account when you’re ready to reminisce.
Some research indicates that social media use may actually hinder the ability to remember and store information.
For instance, one study examined the impact of internet usage on several different brain functions. Calling it the “online brain,” researchers looked at how the Internet may be changing cognition.
Scientists looked at attention capacity or attention spans, social cognition, and memory processes. Specifically related to memory, there’s a belief that the vast source of online information is shifting how we “retrieve, store, and even value knowledge.” In other words, when we rely on the Internet as a primary information source, it impacts how we process new memories and value our own internal knowledge.
That ability to easily find information online makes us more likely to remember where we can retrieve facts rather than remembering the facts themselves.
Another study had participants engage in an experience while using social media to record or share their experiences with others, or not engage with media at all. Across three studies, participants without media consistently remembered their experience more precisely than participants who used media.
Researchers concluded that using media “may prevent people from remembering the very events they are attempting to preserve.”
This isn’t to say you need to give up social media! There are plenty of positive aspects to social media, like seeing those pictures of your friends or laughing at funny cat videos. Other studies believe sharing events on social media may help us remember the event we post. But the NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Centre, for instance, warns us to use it in moderation and guard against “social media’s negative impacts.”
In sum, enjoy those crazy cat videos, but make an effort to protect your life’s stories in ways beyond social media.
3. Social Media Doesn’t Tell the Full Story
When it comes to saving memories with meaning, social media may not provide a robust account of an event.
With social media, your story may include photographs without context, short posts (in some instances with a limit to the number of characters) that don’t share the full meaning of the day, and then there are those social media privacy issues we mentioned earlier.
There’s another factor at play when we share on social media: The “highlight reel” effect. This is a term coined by researchers to describe what most of us already know: people post the good things that happen, and the most glamorous photos, and leave out the bad. If you’re saving memories of your baby’s first year, it’s not all sunshine and smiles. You want those not-so-great moments to be included as part of the full story of her life.
Researchers are even studying the difference between taking pictures to preserve memories vs. taking pictures to share with others on social media. When we’re worried about how we will present on social media, the enjoyment of the event and our engagement with the experience are both diminished.
Once again, we aren’t encouraging you to give up social media! We still love to see your social media posts. In fact, we are quite active on social media, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more. Social remains an easy and fun way to share and store memories.
But consider augmenting your social media by using a more robust platform to save the full story from a graduation, for instance, or a wedding.
So How Can You Save Your Digital Stories Beyond Social Media?
There are options for preserving life’s memories in a digital format that addresses all three of these concerns, and is still as easy as posting on social media. One of those is the easy-to-use digital platform memoryKPR.
You can use this digital tool to compile special memories, including those you already post on social media. Create a story “book” for a special event, or simply start a file called “School Year 2021-22,” and add memories over the year.
It’s easy to add all sorts of files and build a digital photo album, uploading formats such as JPEG, PNG, MP4, MP3, WAV, and more. Include photos, videos, and screenshots, and either upload audio files or record audio right into the story.
You don’t have to give up social media either, since you can also import directly from platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can include others in the story-telling by sending an email or providing a QR code.
When you’re ready, you can share your story book with family and friends by sending a link in an email. There is the option to share on social media if you want, or you control the privacy options to keep it “for your eyes only,” if that’s what you want. You decide who contributes to the story, and who has access to it when you want to share it.
Life passes by quickly, so saving special moments on social media is a fun way to remember events and share with others.
There are times when you want to create a more lasting memento of an occasion, for various reasons. Perhaps you want a more private keepsake. Maybe you like to add more than photos to your memory book. You may also want a more robust way to tell the good and not-so-good aspects of a time in your life.
When you’re looking for a way to augment your social media and save memories beyond socal media, memoryKPR is a great way to preserve those special times for you and your family.
Ardith Stephanson is a freelance writer and journalist who shares some of her own stories at theardizan.com