Fabricating Online Memories

Happy Memories
Originally uploaded by doc18.

I remember seeing someone in a crowd and thinking to myself, “well I haven’t seen her for ages!”. So I walked over to her, smiling, catching her eye and attention. We were only steps apart and I can remember being happy … pleased to be reconnecting. I just couldn’t remember the LAST time I saw her …


The woman I was smiling at, who was smiling, strangely back at me was not a long lost friend, but a newsreader on TV. I quickly readjusted my line of vision, waved at the bartender directly over her shoulder and ordered a martini. BOY I needed a drink!

I have often wondered how this happens. Then I saw this great post by Helen … on the 5 things meme … explaining her inability to distinguish between blog reality and … well whatever world she lives in 😉 And then the answer turns up on Diana’s blog — serial thoughts — with some great research into the effectiveness of interactive websites. Check it out … it is fascinating!


7 thoughts on “Fabricating Online Memories

  1. I once spent a very stressful hour hiding from a guy I was sure worked in my office, in a very small airport, determined not to be caught out for having feigned illness to catch a flight I needed to catch. I even resorted to carrying my suitcase in front of my face. Until I realised he was actually on a reality TV show, the name of which I cannot even bring myself to reveal….

  2. That’s hilarious Gavin. That sounds like something I would do!
    I can relate to the confusing reality with fantasy thing too. There was this guy whose personal blog I used to read regularly. He is so open in his writing, even about extremely personal matters– I really got the feeling that I KNEW him, when in fact we’d never actually even met.
    Well, the trouble started when he and I actually did meet in relation to his business. It’s a long story how this came about, but we started working closely together (virtually of course), and we started to develop a friendship, and like two normal human beings, we would share what we did over the weekend and share personal details about ourselves with each other.
    I guess when you’re writing a blog that is more like a journal, you sort of forget that there are people reading it. You share things and expose yourself in a way that you wouldn’t with people you meet in real life.
    So, I kind of felt like I knew too much, that there the were things he’d revealed on his site that he felt comfortable with strangers knowing, but not necessarily someone who he was getting to know in real life.
    And I started having problems because I was getting confused trying to differentiate in my mind what he and I had actually talked about and what I’d learned about him from his blog. In the end, it messed with my head so much that I had to stop reading his site.
    BTW–in your situation with the newsreader–it sounds like she wouldn’t have minded if you had walked up to her and gave her a hug. Maybe she thought she knew you too. 😉

  3. Been down this road, Gavin. Too many times with people I don’t like either. Our subconscious sometimes confuses recognition with popularity…no matter who it is we recognize. Thanks for your astute comments on Pow! as well. Been trying to get back to you via email, but to no avail. Alas, this will have to suffice!

  4. Thanks all for sharing! It really is a little unsettling when this happens.
    I particularly like Sharon’s story about the personal blog … when we started holding coffee mornings in Sydney I was concerned about whether we would all get along. So far it has been great … but it really is like a weird form of dating.

  5. Gavin,
    How about a post on how you find these amazing photos???
    You have the BEST photos on your posts. Gah. Teach us!
    Sorry. The post was great too!!!
    Do I know you? 😉

Comments are closed.