A digital trip down memory lane

From spatial to time-based archiving.

What were you doing this time a year ago? A daily e-mail or digital scrapbook brings it all back, like unlocking a time capsule. Emerging digital memory tools and platforms keep your memories alive, helping you rediscover your favourite memories or Internet activities from way back.

Tracking down your memories

Timehop, a new digital memory service, reminds you about what you were doing a year ago via a daily e-mail. The service uses your social behaviour, your twitter feeds, your check-ins, even your mobile text messages.

Then there’s Memolane. Another digital memory tool which reminds you about your past Internet social life, by collecting and connecting your thoughts, images, messages, even the music you listened to.

With both of them, the promise of rediscovering your memories is enabled digitally, fuelled by multiple platforms and devices.

Storing your past

But ‘memory back-ups’ are also no longer what they used to be… Apple users have been familiar with Time Machine for a while.

Both these memory tools, like the backwards back-up software, rely on ingenious digital memorisation. But we can’t simply look at them as good old ‘storage’ or ‘archive’ tools. This next generation of digital memory services adds an extra dimension to what used to be storage on a remote server or, more recently, in the Cloud. This time round, they’re time-based, restoring the detailed trail of our actions. Which means they also have an impact on how we remember things.

‘this time round, memory tools are time-based, restoring the detailed trail of our actions’

Memory goes public, big time

In today’s digital age, more and more info is stored online, both accidentally and deliberately. The web has become an accessible, and often public, repository for our daily lives, memories and actions. Facebook timeline transforms memories, which used to be rather personal, into a collective experience.

Memory has always been a social activity to a certain degree (think school reunions and yearbooks, memorials, genealogy, etc.). Today, by adding a digital, social and time-based dimension to memory as we used to know it, a new dimension is unlocked.

Just as technology has revolutionised how we hold onto our memories, it has also shifted the way we experience them… People used to write down their memories in diaries and store their family pictures in leather-bound albums. Now they express their sentiments on a blog and distribute their pictures across Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Piecing our stories together

Today’s generation of digital memory tools no longer retrieve single facts from a ‘storage space’ archive, they now make connections within a complex and dynamic network. They collect the scattered bits and pieces, by tapping into a variety of sources.

By gathering an ever-growing amount of tagged items, blogs, wallposts, image uploads, videos, text messages, check-ins, tweets and actions, they allow this content to be organised and tell a more complete, cohesive story.

Thanks to these new tools, our memory archive transforms from ‘storage space’ to ‘storage time’ and from a personal to a collective experience.

Take a digital trip down memory lane yourself.

You’ll not only rediscover what you were doing last year, but you might also get a glimpse of the new perspectives this opens from a communication viewpoint.


We’d love to tell you more about it. Should we meet for a coffee? Just drop us a line.

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