I've Been Using Photo Gallery and Social Media as Memory Tracker

November 16, 2019


I remember I met this English teacher, a Canadian. He complained about Japanese teachers for having too many pictures every second, now and then, here and everywhere in tourism spots. He told me, why can we just enjoy nature with our own eyes? There’s nothing like enjoying the view with our sight.

Photos of my recent trip to Ubud

I agreed. Coz the sensor, the lens, the filter and the processor and everything might adjust everything we see and it’s not the same.

But since most phone got build-in camera, I was crazy taking pictures, too!

When I started taking pictures regularly since Sony Experia was released in the market—after a long hiatus from an analog camera that belongs to my family, before it was put into retirement later on. Sony Experia got the best camera with awesome stability. Despite phone camera has lots of limitations, I tried to learn to take quality photos. Until I got my first DSLR camera.

But taking pictures for me hasn’t just become a hobby. It has become a regular habit. I took pic of a snack I like, a dress I want to buy, a newly-wishlisted book, a cute stuffed animals I can’t buy, or food that I eat—well, that one works like anyone else does. 

If you read my blogpost years ago or post anywhere else, you know coz I’ve been telling you that I start losing my memory since a few years back. Photos I took, not only the good ones, help me remember things.

So it has been difficult for me to remember names, timeline of past life events, and I can’t remember people’s faces. I even lost my sense of time period, such as remembering whether one life event happened for a week ago or a month ago. To me, it just felt so long.

Many times I found a photo of someone, things I have bought, or a moment in life that I have forgotten at all without realizing it. Those photos reminded me of those missing memories. So I figured, keeping photos this way helps me gaining them back. 

In addition, I often can’t remember whom I met a day before and when in the end of the day where I try to list down everything I have done in a day.

With the usage of social media, some people would think that posting pictures is all about showing off. But sometimes, posting pictures and thoughts and stories in on my social media account is helpful. Then, it’s not only photos but thoughts in text format. The account has become a memory collector for me. Posting those contents also allows me to gain more memories, as there will be feedback and reversed thoughts from my circle, so it isn’t only collecting pictures in my gallery that will do.

Starting from those photos, thoughts, by the way… I also never delete Whatsapp or any other chats or email conversations. It could help me as data at work (approval, etc), but also remembering what has happened to me, my friends and how the people are doing. I forgot them easily, including details.

I have tried many things to have better memory. Yoga, healthier food, taking vitamins, playing brain games, learning using flashcards. Still, it is hard. As if there are no changes.

Yet, memories are funny. They left some important things but showing up a series of unimportant and irrelevant ones. Later, I made peace by accepting that everything that was in my life and coming back to my memory is indeed important and for a reason.

However, bad memories also keep coming as well. It drives me mad, sad and crazy. 

I guess I have to deal with all the feelings contained in my memories. I’d choose to have them, rather than losing myself as my memory gone.

What makes you today is what have you been through all this way. Memory is the proof of all of them, as no history will be writing about me. I’m afraid, without those memories, I’d lose myself.

Coz I’ve lost myself many times for what had happened.

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