From Personal to Personalized Memory: Social Media as Mnemotechnology 

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    In this chapter, we outline the path of personal to personalized memory to explicate how memories render a self networked. As practices of autobiographical memory are gradually embedded in platforms, in ways that suggest or, in the case of Facebook, remind us of past memories or moments, we take a closer look at industries created around the business of organizing our memories for us. The practice of using technics to create records of memories is not new, and such forms of tertiary retention enabled through photographs, for instance, have been studied as mnemotechnics. We distinguish these practices from those afforded by mnemotechnologies to explain how control of one’s memories is ceded to an industry, which makes a profit from the business of connecting one to one’s past. For the self, practices like composing a diary or a collection of photographs constitute part of sustaining a sense of self, and enabling the storytelling project of the self. As we argue, by composing these diaries, we are also composing ourselves. By contrast, Facebook’s structure of offering reminders mimics the intimacy of a diary, but also suggests an already rendered composition for the networked self: “the writer of the diary is also the reader, but more importantly, the encoder is also the decoder.” Through these automated processes of personalization, we choose from sets of remediated memories of our own making presented via technologies that premediate, or anticipate our need for memorialization.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationA Networked Self and Birth, Life, Death
    EditorsZizi Papacharissi
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis group
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315202129
    ISBN (Print)9781138705883
    Publication statusPublished - 18-Jul-2018

    Publication series

    NameA Networked Self


    • MEMORY
    • SELF
    • Stiegler
    • On this day
    • DIARY

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