Posting personal experiences on Facebook and Twitter may make those events much easier to recall, suggests a study that examined social media’s effect on human memory.
Events posted online were more likely than those not posted online to be remembered over time, regardless of the characteristics of the events, the study said.
“If people want to remember personal experiences, the best way is to put them online,” said lead author Qi Wang, Professor at Cornell University at New York, in the US.
Memory researchers have long known that when people write about personal experiences, reflect on them or talk about them with others, they tend to remember those events much better.
However, “the process of writing about one’s experiences in the public sphere, often sustained by subsequent social feedback, may allow people to reflect on the experiences and their personal relevance”, Wang added.
Further, the act of posting on social media also plays a role in the construction of the self, Wang said pointing out that people create a sense of self in the process of recalling, evaluating and sharing with others memories of personal experiences in their lives.
In addition, these memories often gets facilitated by the interactive functions on many social media sites. For example, Facebook periodically shows users photos and posts from previous years to remind them of those events, prompting users to revisit those experiences.