Shared Memory in the Digital Age

Ghost in the Shell (2002) Episode 18 tells the story of a son who copies his deceased father’s memory and it finally influences his personality.

Memory is significant for self-making, which has been appreciated by psychologists for nearly a century. The fact is nowadays personal memories are shown as the content of social media and they can exist anywhere, such as on a blog, Twitter, Instagram.  These bits of information may evoke similar memories or experiences.

Thus, what is the result of sharing memory? Does it lead to resonance or distinction?

These memories are always related to loss, anxiety and happiness, such as losing relatives, lovers… and relatively going better. Sharing memory online can help us find similar experiences and get rid of loneliness momentarily, but it is also important to know ourselves. Otherwise, we may become lost in these memories.


Barrett, F. S., Grimm, K. J., Robins, R. W., Wildschut, T., Sedikides, C., & Janata, P.  (2010). Music-evoked nostalgia: Affect, memory, and personality. Emotion, 10 (3), (pp. 390-403).
Teresa Correa,Amber Willard Hinsley,Homero Gil de Zúñiga. (2010) Who interacts on the Web?: The intersection of users’ personality and social media use. Computers in Human Behavior 26 (2), (pp. 247-253).

Zicong Zhou, Roja Bandari, Joseph Kong, Hai Qian, Vwani Roychowdhury. (2010). Information resonance on Twitter: watching Iran. Social Media Analytics,(pp. 123-131).

Media could evoke one’s memory. For instance, “A song was autobiographically salient, arousing, familiar, and elicited a great number of positive, negative, and mixed emotions. These effects were moderated by individual differences (nostalgia proneness, mood state, dimensions of the Affective Neurosciences Personality Scale, and factors of the Big Five Inventory). ” (Barrett, 2010)

In the digital age, it is common for people to share personal experiences online. A study reveals that “while extraverted men and women were both likely to be more frequent users of social media tools, only the men with greater degrees of emotional instability were more regular users.” (T Correa, 2010) It means that the content they share online may be more strongly emotional and exaggerate their feelings. Meanwhile, only a few topics manage to attract enough attention to rise to the top and become temporal trends which are displayed to users. An investigation of Twitter reveals that repost probabilities are highly content dependent. (Zicong Zhou, 2010) The resonance of the content with the users of the social network plays a major role in causing trends. I believe this is how the online key opinion leader generate. Thus, the content they share plays a major role in causing trends and it leads to resonance and homogenization of personality.

On the Beach Alone

    sunset, norcal, fall, bayarea

9 Months of the north

rainy days, summer, memory

Imitation of blogs sharing personal memory.

A dusk in February

san francisco, memory, dusk