How’s Your Memory? Pandemic Year Forgetfulness

The past 15 months have been hard on us all. And while there are brighter days ahead, we might be going into them forgetting a few things. Like where we put our AirPods or what that new coworker’s name is.

Even President Biden made an awkward joke about forgetting he was, in fact, president while speaking to soldiers in England last week.

So what’s going on? Are we losing our sh*t? Psychologists say that this is normal—things are busier than they have been in a really long time. Meaning there is currently a lot cluttering our minds. And one doctor tells Vice that absentmindedness can serve other purposes, like allowing us to focus on the bigger picture instead of life’s minutia.

Focusing on the future while staying present might be the key to sharpening your memory. Or at least accomplishing the things you might otherwise forget. After deciding you want to do something, make the most of the time when you are keyed into planning and act immediately. (If you know you’ll want a portable battery or a water bottle with you in the park, put them in your bag and put the bag by the door.)

Another way to improve your memory? Post on social media. Seriously. People are more likely to remember experiences, events and people that they post on social media, new research suggests. Even ephemeral social media channels like Stories and Snapchat can improve your recall later—despite the post eventually disappearing.

This is in contrast to how the internet has long been linked to memory problems, including a phenomenon called “The Google Effect.” That is a type of digital amnesia when people are less likely to remember facts and other information that can be easily found online.

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