Will Self on the half-life of memory

Will Self:

But the world of photo-messaging and Facebook, of YouTube and Google, is not one defined by the manipulation of the masses alone – rather, it is conjured up by the digitations of the great mass of individuals.

In this brave old world, I can employ a few keystrokes and so correlate my personal recollection of what was happening on that day, at that very hour, with public events in Birmingham, Bratislava or Beijing.

Because of this, it seems to me that in the past decade or so, the half-life of our memories has become artificially extended. Instead of curling photographs and yellowing newspapers, we are possessed of a shiny and permanent now, one we flit-click about and so delude ourselves as to our own eternal youth – until, that is, we look down at the wrinkled and liver-spotted hands that rest on the keyboard.

via berfrois