The following is a guest post I wrote for author Lauriee Stewarts blog.
I wrote about social media and how it’s helped preserve my memory
to promote Talking to the Sky when it was released. You can read the original post here:
I was out at dinner this evening and a woman saw me taking a picture of my dinner with my smart phone.
“Oh, are you a food blogger?”
“No, I’m a writer. I’m just putting the picture on Facebook.”
A woman across the table leaned forward. “Why are you putting a picture of your dinner on Facebook?”
“So I don’t forget anything.”
That’s usually the answer I give to why I use social media so much. Social media serves a purpose: it helps you connect, helps writers and artist promote ourselves (yay us!) and it helps us stay in touch with our loved ones.
I use it for one other important purpose: I use it to remember.
I use Facebook a ridiculous amount; I’m also hooked up to Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and others. I post poems, articles, novels, short stories. I post pictures of my life from that random moment, something I’m able to capture.
All of it is lived in the moment.
I have trouble remembering things. My thoughts sometimes get hard to hold on to, as if they are made from smoke. I’ve forgotten a lot of what I used to know or what I’ve just taken in.
It used to be I could recall whole plots of books I’ve read and loved. Now I can’t remember what the last book I read was. When I want to write a book review, I usually have to read the book a second or third time.
What I put out on social media are like pebbles, left along the roadside. Sometimes the pebbles go amiss: they get moved by the wind, scuffed by someone’s boots, carried in the beak of a bird. Some of the pebbles go missing.
Social media is a way for me to gather all of those stones somewhere, so I can find them again. I think of each post, poem or word like a memory, preserved in electricity. They are like snapshots of a moment.
I was broken into earlier this year. One of the things that was taken was my laptop…and the memory key I left in it that day that contained all of my writing from my whole literary career. All my novels, my manuscripts, everything I’ve ever written.
I’ve since started backing up everything I write. That was a lesson I learned the hard way. When I went to the internet to gather the poems for Talking to the Sky, I was very thankful that I had put every poem I wrote last year up on the internet. They were all there, waiting for me.
The problem was that I didn’t remember writing a lot of them. When I put Talking to the Sky together, I was reading the majority of the poems for the first time; and I was the one that wrote them. I had forgotten them completely.
Never have I been so thankful to social media and the lives we live within the wires. It held on to piece of my voice and gave it back to me when I needed it. For that, I will always be grateful. I was able to gather these snapshots and now I give them to you.