As I read The Atlantic’s article about memory, there were a few places where I could directly relate to the article’s examples. Right off the bat, I agreed with the article’s headline; I tend to forget many of the books I have read. However, I never considered that the “forgetting curve” is the steepest during the first 24 hours after you have read something. As I think about this now, it makes sense; if I don’t review what I have read or watched soon afterwards, it’s harder for me to recall the information I consumed.
I also agree that the internet has changed our societal need for memory. What’s the point of remembering something if you can just look it up? It’s such a huge benefit to have so much information at our fingertips, but at the same time, it’s frustrating that we simply let ourselves forget information because it’s easy to obtain.
Similar to books, I could relate to the article’s point about remembering TV shows. Like many people, I’m guilty of binge-watching shows, but this blurs the individual episode plots together and makes it harder to remember. On the other hand, I remember a lot about individual episodes from “The Walking Dead,” the one show that I do watch weekly. My friends and family are often impressed by how much I remember from that show, and after reading this article, I realize that I’ll often give myself time to reflect on what happened in the previous episode each week. Because I put time into remembering what happened, I retain more information about the show.
I find that I need to do this with schoolwork as well. If I don’t take time after my classes to look at my notes or review what I read for homework, I usually don’t remember it well. Improving our memory definitely takes time and effort and going beyond just reading something once. The first step is simply recognizing that we need to put in that time and effort if we want to get better at remembering.