Have you ever thought about how much of what you consume–Facebook updates, tweets, instagram photos–is forgotten within a few minutes? Hours?

What makes something stick? Worth sticking? And what is the lifespan of a tweet, a photo, an update?

I ask because I can not remember (without looking) what I retweeted, liked on Facebook or saw on Instagram yesterday. Can you?


  • Well as i neither tweet, do facebook or instagram it’s hard to say about those platforms, I do post photos on a photography platform, not flickr, but with over a million users they are usually “forgotten” within a day or two, when the next several thousands of photos have been uploaded. I’m sure facebook and twitter can be good ways to keep up with people, I just see how much time friends spend/waste there, and simply don’t want to do that.

  • Everything is so fleeting which is why we’re all trying so hard to making a lasting impression through our work and ideas. Unfortunately, it’s only a rare few that manage to do so sustainably.

  • I totally agree with you. Flying through the internet, commenting here, posting their, pinning everywhere.

    Each little visit is like a stepping stone, a foothold as we race for the next thing to distract us, afraid of falling in.

    And, what happens when we stop? Nothing bad, just reconnection and peace.

    I’m yet to find the balance between the two.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • I, too, am without facebook, twitter and instagram and don’t generally feel I’m missing out. There is the occasional time I take flak from a relative who feels it’s my duty to be on facebook as it’s the place the family shares news but I find if it’s important, someone tells me. More often than not, it’s what the cat had for breakfast or the eleventy-first repost of a quote I’ve read a number of times before. I’ve gotten better over the last couple of years at going whole days without the www though i am less strong at not checking email.

    I appreciate your disposable cup analogy. The internet is full of single-use, detritus. Luckily, there’s a lot of valuable pieces that stay with you, too.

  • I also don’t do Facebook, twitter, or instagram. I had a Goodreads account for a while since I love to read, but closed it recently. It was information overload. I’m just not cut out for social media, I guess. Speaking of books, I think there is one from a few years ago about what makes ideas stick.

  • That’s why I love the few gems that I *do* find on the internet – and often the ones with emotional content (whether that content is words, images, drawings) that stick with me.

    Btw, I think your husband’s newly released prints have amazing emotional content! Especially for avid bookworms like myself. I appreciate his ability to take things I’ve read before and shine a light on them from a different angle.



  • I am so surprised that many of you don’t tweet, instagram or Facebook! Some days I want to delete all of those accounts.

    So perhaps I have a different experience online. I’ve been culling what I read, and recognize that much of it doesn’t contribute in any meaningful way, and needs to go.

  • I’m not against social media per se, I think what it comes down to is that it doesn’t matter to me what people are doing or saying real-time. A good friend of mine tried to talk me into joining Facebook. I sat down with her for a half hour as she showed me her account and how it all works, and I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t think it would enhance my life and I definitely don’t have time to keep up with it all.

  • i’m not on facebook, g+, instagram, pinterest since i find it too time consuming. i like twitter, stumbleupon, flickr so i use those sites. love the way you put this post….interesting thought process. you’re right though, most of these tweets & posts are forgotten soon or sometimes links are not even clicked on ;-) ziplist & evernote are extremely useful to store link you like in an organized way

  • I don’t tweet, rarely facebook but love my blog for the creative outlet, record of our lives and relationships it builds. I never regret the time I spend there. Last night though, my husband came home with a stack of your books I had ordered for myself and my friends and I put aside the laptop to finally see your photos up close. We’re living in Paris at the moment and you have really captured the world I see too – postcards for locals! Your book will certainly not be disposed of and although I always love to see your images on the blog it felt so much more relaxing to be able to enjoy them without the glow of the screen. It’s so hard to switch off but I think we all probably need to more than we do!

  • No I can’t. You are so right about this. Sometimes I sit down at my computer and realize that 2 hours have flown by – just like that. And in the end I didn’t gain a thing. How do we break the habit? We have to find a happy balace, I guess.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post : )


  • I think about it too! So often once it’s posted or looked at, it’s GONE. Yet, we keep on. And I am glad we do. Because, every now and then, something stays with me leaving me better or more inspired.

  • spot on. but then, images in life pass by really quickly, don’t they? do you remember that awesome tree on your last road trip? maybe … maybe not.

    My opinion? FB/tweets/Instagram are more for feeling connected rather than making a lasting impression … that’s something you build up over years of blogging. or real life conversation :)

  • I don’t have a Facebook account, just a Facebook page for my blog and Etsy shop. I tweet and post to Instagram about once a week, and I’m only following a few people on Twitter or Instagram. I have a long blog reading list though, and yes, I forget what I’ve seen.

    Even worse: When I look through my previous blog, I realize that I’ve forgotten most of the images I blogged. I used to blog about other people’s work – maybe it’s easier to remember now when I blog my own stuff? Time will show –

    I also forget to go back and check the stuff I’ve bookmarked. There’s so much new stuff every day that there isn’t room to look back at the things I loved enough to bookmark.

    I seriously don’t think our brain is designed to handle all this information: When humankind evolved, we only had to keep track of what happened in our local community. Now, a whole world of news is available to us 24-7. No wonder we forget!

    I loved this post a lot, and the comments (June made a great point in hers). Thank you for talking about this!

  • Interesting. I don’t tweet, had a twitter account for about five minutes before I realized how stupid it is. My facebook page is there just to keep up with certain peole because that is the only way thee days. I have my blog as an output and yet I’ve made some extraordinary connections there which surprises and delights me. I reply to every comment I receive which, I think, is not only a matter of courtesy but of acknowledgement and camraderie. Unlike many others where the comments go unacknowledged, so they’re just like tweets, etc. me. me. me .me. and that’s all that matters.

  • It’s funny you should mention that.. I suppose in a way it IS hard to keep track of such things… yet I must admit that since I don’t tweet about 20 gazillion tweets a day, I actually do usually remember more of less what I tweeted. hehe

    I love the picture, btw… you’re photography is lovely! :))

  • The photographs from your gorgeous book have stuck in my mind for days since I received it as a birthday gift last week from my Mum, but i cant really explain why. I guess someone’s personal connection to an image or comment makes it stick and it’s hard to generalize. I have since discovered your blog in the hope that i may purchase your prints (Yay it’s possible!!!) When i see an inspirational image i hope to keep it on paper to make it more permanent, something tangible. I’m not into Facebook, Twitter etc… I find most of it a waste of time, overwhelming and fleeting.

    Your husband’s prints are very cool as well. Keep up the good work!

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