Remember This Next Time You Forget Something You’ve Read

Steve sent me this article about why we forget most of the books we read, and said I might enjoy it. I jumped up and down!

Seriously, holy crap, this article explains all the things I’ve been noticing about myself and wondering if I’m having some kind of memory issue. I even asked the doctor about it, that’s how worried I had been. The doctor chuckled and, as gently as possible, said “I don’t believe we have a test sensitive enough to detect an issue.” I am known for my good memory, but I’m noticing that it is leaky. If I read lots of tweets or Facebook posts, I will forget them not long after I have read them. I noticed this years ago and called it “Twitter brain”. I will laugh uproariously at something, and not 30 seconds later when Steve asks me what I was laughing at, I can’t remember and have to go back and check. I thought maybe it was just the speed at which I’m reading things, and I guess I was right. But then I noticed I couldn’t memorize phone numbers as easily. When Brad got his new phone and I was trying to help input his contacts, I noticed I couldn’t just commit seven-digit strings of numbers to memory. I blamed technology for letting me get lazy. That may be true, but at least there’s a reason for it. Finally I noticed that I was completely forgetting that I wrote certain posts. Sometimes, I have to check to see if I actually wrote it, and then, on posts written in the old Blogger days, I have to go back to that copy of the blog to see if one of us accidentally misattributed it during the transfer. There are so many posts that I have no memory of, and reading them is like reading them for the first time, and that freaks me right the hell out.

This whole loss of ability to remember things reminds me of an old “Outer Limits” episode about our minds being directly connected to the internet.

Maybe they were on to something.

I have been thinking about what I should do when I finish a book. I have actually thought about writing notes down, because there are so many things I take in that I think I will *never* forget, and then before I know it, I have forgotten them.

I love the idea of a book of books, or Bob. Audible is unintentionally building me a Bob, and when I look at each title, I do think of when I read it, and the events that were going on around it.

This article’s descriptions of so many things are exactly as I experience them. If this article were being read as part of a presentation, I would be sitting there nodding my head vigorously in response. I am so relieved that I am not losing it, and that all of this is completely normal.

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