On Blog Posting, Memory, and Performance

Last week, Aidan and I talked before class about blog posting. He brought up an idea I thought was quite cool—writing a blog post about blog posting and memory. On Monday, I asked for his consent to write about this for my own blog post, to which he conceded. I’d like to use my last blog post of the semester to reflect on blog posting and how it contributes to our course concepts of memory and forgetting.   

I’d first like to talk about memory using a biological and psychological lens, per say. For most people, it is really difficult to remember everything, or even most things. I know this is quite vague, but hear me out—we tend to write things down in order to remember them. We do have memories, yes, but we tend to remember the things we deem “important.” In English 203 with Dr. Doggett last year, he brought up the concept that we imbue importance into our memories after they have actually occurred, and thus we vault into our memory bank what we deem as “important.” I put the word “important” into quotes because of how subjective this is—we all imbue different values into the interactions we have in our daily lives. Thus, in 20 years, I will probably not remember the specifics of this course, for example, but I will carry with me the larger course concepts we covered (i.e. memory and forgetting, effigies, both/and, tension between allochthonous and autochthonous, etc.). Accessing information based on memory can be quite a struggle—and so we tend to write things down in order to remember them.

Here is where blog posting comes in. Posting on the blog is performative—we must craft, create, and control what thoughts and ideas we decide to publish on a public platform. Since the blog is a vault of information and ideas, we can refer back to them in the future, thus making these ideas more accessible to memory. We have the ability to look back at something we wrote in a particular time and place. Our words do not change. What does this say about memory? Since we cannot remember everything, does that mean we can only remember things with anthropological or sociological significance? Can we only remember analysis of stratification? In our performance on the blog, we craft language in order to reveal larger truths or expand on ideas previously less known to us. Our performance is then vaulted, and I would even stretch to say that these blog posts have become effigies for our thoughts and values in this particular place in time. This can be supported by what is socially accepted in the blog post (i.e. what topics are appropriate to write about), and we receive a grade based on how we follow the rubric given. Will we remember things that fall out of these parameters? I’m not sure—I’m not yet in the future.

So I guess I’d like to end this blog post thus: I hope I remember much more than just my blog posts, because I am always thinkING. But, I am also grateful in ways to the blog posts because they are ways in which we mark our thoughts and ideas with some kind of permanence. I hope to churn back to the ideas we explored in class this semester throughout the rest of my time in Geneseo. I keep thinking about marking and memory—I’m not sure I have the capability to remember without a marker. But ah, I guess, we’ll see.

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