Stuck with a Memory

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a laptop with a dust rag on it
In a rare instance of remembering something while it is still useful, I remembered to clean my laptop keyboard and screen this morning before I turned it on. I often think to clean the screen, because I can see the screen is dirty, but I always think of it after I’ve powered on the device. You know, the hassle of accidentally pressing the various keys is a pain.

That’s not the point of this post though.

The odd thing about my cleaning my laptop is that every single time I do it (or even think of it), I recall a tweet that my brother sent out over a year ago initiating “clean your laptop Fridays.” The tweet didn’t mean much to me, and I didn’t get into that habit, but that one simple and insignificant memory comes leaping to the front of my mind every time I notice dust on my screen. Weird!

There is so much in my head that I’d love to remember. So much that it would be useful to have leaping to get my attention. Still, it’s this one simple and understated memory that takes pride of place so often. What’s more, there are many such examples from my daily life of random, inconspicuous memories from long ago which get triggered every day, but seem to be of little significance or value.

Does this happen to you?

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  1. Everybody does. Its how memories work. There is actually no such thing as a random memory. Every memory you have is catylized by some other thought or experience.

  2. @ Jordan

    Indeed, but I wonder WHY my memory seems to make up it’s own prioritization when it comes to things I want to recall, and what it wants to recall.

  3. Happens all the time. I’ve always assumed it happens to everyone, but I don’t always notice people suddenly having a smile creep across their face as I often do.

    It’s truly strange what common, every day events can spur a dusty memory.

  4. Memories are made stronger by frequency of access. If something you do very often circumstantially reminds you of something else “randomly” that memory will grow stronger by being associated with that activity as will the link between activity and memory. Whenever I workout for instance, I remember that stupid LMFAO song, God help me.

    BTW, when I think of topics I associate those topics with physical scenes. I don’t do this myself, but every time I think of Dostoevsky’s “The Prince” or his “Letters From Underground” I see this parking lot surrounded by shops on two sides with a park on the third side. The scene has absolutely nothing to do with either book, and I’ve never scene it in real life. Its just a visual representation of that particular subject in my mind. Does anyone else experience these visual thought theme scenes?

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