Can time heal?
And if so, is this due to the fading of memories?
Experts suggest that modern technology could damage our ability to grieve or let go, because easy access to recorded sounds and images reminds us afresh of what we have lost.
Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Southampton University, told The Times that the volume of data now documenting our lives means the past no longer fades into soft focus, suggesting that the lingering online persona of a dead loved one could lead to greater psychological distress.
The Professor is one of many now calling for social media to facilitate a ‘Right to Forget’. Supporters include Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Professor of Internet Governance at the University of Oxford, who notes that the ability to forget is natures way of healing, including allowing forgiveness:
“as we forgive somebody, our brain depreciates the memory of wrongdoing
because it is no longer relevant to how we judge that person,” he said.
“Forgiving without forgetting is very difficult.”
However, there may be many who are grateful that the existence of photographs and recordings on social networks such as Facebook brings back clear memories of those whom they strive to recall.
Not to mention the pleasure that might be gleaned in your final days from easy access to images and documents that may prompt a host of memories. I suspect that the living are grateful for any help they can get in remembering the dead, however painful that may be.
The Times on Cyberculture
The Telegraph on The Right to be Forgotten