September 19, 2019

Have We Forgotten How to Forget?

“Imagine you interviewed for your dream job.

It went well, you made the final cut, and an official offer was imminent. But then, at the last minute, it falls apart. It turns out your soon-to-be manager glanced at your Facebook account, noticed some awkward photos from your college years, and decided you weren’t quite right for the position.

This is the kind of scenario Kate Eichhorn, a cultural and media studies professor at the New School, warns about in her new book called The End of Forgetting.

In this new digital world, she argues, everything is documented, everything is tagged, and anything can surface at any moment. We’re losing the ability to forget, and therefore we’re losing the ability to distance ourselves from our past.

How is this changing our lives? Is it disrupting our ability to try on new identities or experiment with new ideas? And what does it mean to forgive one another for the sins of our past in an age when nothing is truly deleted and nothing is erased?”

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