Digitally-Assisted Memories

In this case I am not talking about some chip being implanted in you head to give you total recall, but rather how much easier it can be to go back in time and reminisce in this digital age.

I have lived in the US for years, but was born and raised in Scotland until I was a young adult. I also have a poor memory; there are large swaths of my childhood and teenage years that are lost to me. It's not that it was particularly traumatic (as far as I know), it's just all really...vague and spotty.

Remember when Apple was a record label?

Some years ago, I had set about to make a little web page about my first school in Scotland, and though it reconnected with several old friends and shared some (sometimes surprising) memories. It was a revelation to me. That page is gone now, but on Facebook in particular I continue to run into folk from my past (mostly from the UK) and it's been quite enjoyable.

With the eclectic wealth of material on YouTube and other video sites, it's also pretty easy now to go back and look at things like favorite childhood TV shows, or clips of your favorite band performing.

When I was a wee one, the BBC ran a block of kids shows titled "Watch With Mother" (because back then it was assumed "mother" would always be home with the kids, of course). Seeing them now, they look positively antediluvian, and yet somehow are still quirkily charming - even heartwarming.

I doubt I would ever have seen them again apart from this digital age that we now can enjoy. I confess there are times when I enjoy "instant gratification".

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