art of forgetting

Art of Forgetting

How many of you like reading? The majority of the researchers argues that, at present, people don’t read books; as a result of the current digital revolution leading to their social media addiction. However, it seems that the demise of books is greatly exaggerated. In fact, people still read, and the number of the avid readers is impressive. A significant number of the book lovers, who may be called as the bookworms, complains about their forgetfulness and failure to remember the plot of different books. This point raises a question – “What is the point of reading if people do not remember anything several months later?

This question is usually related to the individuals that regard reading as one of the ways to learn something interesting that might be useful for them in the future. However, still, the majority of the modern book lovers reads for pure pleasure. For these individuals, the issue of forgetfulness isn’t a great problem. In turn, some of them may regard this small memory failure as a gift. In this case, the bookworms have an opportunity to read their favorite books enjoying these amazing stories over and over again. Therefore, the issue of forgetfulness related to reading the books and watching some movies may be regarded as a great advantage.

As it was mentioned above, there is a group of people that are concerned about their obliviousness since they want to extract particular wisdom from the books they chose for reading. As a result of such a tendency, a significant number of different psychologists is engaged in studying this issue. Some researchers claim that the issue of forgetfulness should not be regarded as a serious problem. In accordance with their opinion, people may forget some important dates, names of the main characters depicted in the novels, or the events that have a particular significance. Notwithstanding, as they state, books have an impressive impact on people’s perception of the reality, as well as on their points of view, changing them via their mental models. In this case, the notion of the mental models can be regarded as a kind of psychological lenses that shape the individuals’ attitude to everything that surrounds them and to the reality in general. As a result, people tend to have different opinions regarding a particular issue since all the individuals living in the modern world cannot have a common experience shaping their views.

The following hypothesis provided by the world’s most prolific researchers is related to the changed attitude of the modern society to the importance of memory. This issue implies the idea that, at present, people tend to value another type of memory. As the researchers claim, this significant change is caused by the technological revolution that alters the way the modern people live, work, and relate to one another. Being at the top of the technological revolution, the Internet can be regarded as a kind of the externalized memory. It can be explained by the fact that, at present, almost all the individuals have free access to the Internet where all the required materials can be found. Hence, for the representatives of the modern generation, it is no need to remember anything important. In this case, needless to say, that they may forget some elements depicted in the novel, book, or movie since everything they need may be available online. Indeed, all the benefits offered by the Internet network give its users the opportunity to find the required information immediately, and as a result, the individuals do not have to waste their time while they attempt to have another read of a particular book as well as to watch a movie again.

As it was already mentioned, the issue of forgetfulness is considered to be a negative phenomenon. The reason for such opinion is that people tend to think that if they forget the names of the main characters of the book they read a month ago, there is no point in reading different books and looking for a particular knowledge to be extracted from the book. Another interesting theory that is one of the most widely discussed topics among the scientists is related to the positive aspect of the forgetfulness. A number of the psychologists believe that the individuals’ forgetfulness is the key symptom that proves that they have a good memory and a healthy mind as well.

According to the researchers, in the case, if people remembered everything that happened to them during their lives, they would face a significant problem related to their short memory. For instance, they might forget about the important appointment, meeting, or arrangement. One of the studies that has been recently published in the journal Neuron attempts to prove that the human brain filters the information and makes people forget everything that won’t be useful in the future. In accordance with the professor working in the University of Toronto Blake Richards, “It’s important that the brain forgets irrelevant details and instead focuses on the stuff that’s going to help make decisions in the real world.”

Although a number of the researchers publish their studies that prove the benefits of the individuals’ forgetfulness, some of them study a variety of techniques that would help the book lovers extract more knowledge from the readings and retain the information as well. There are three main techniques that include impression, association, and repetition. The concept of impression implies the fact that the readers should be impressed with a book they have chosen. In this case, they are recommended to figure a particular scene of the plot in their mind. Then, it is important to add some elements like shock or greatness in the attempt to make this scene impressive and memorable. Following the second technique, the individuals worrying about their forgetfulness may try to link an important piece of information, which they want to remember, to some things they are familiar with. Finally, the psychologists recommend everyone to re-read all the sentences or passages that need to be remembered.

Alexia Wolker

Author Bio: My name is Alexia Wolker, I am a blogger and work as an editor. I am from Missouri. I have a Master’s Degree in literature and love both reading and writing about books and literary topics. I also help students with their literary assignments – articles, essays and summaries of books. Me works you can see at klon website.