In with the Bad, Out with the Good

Going off our reading due Wednesday, I wanted to pay special attention to memory and what it entails. Memory is a fascinating concept. Some people are able to store loads of information in their heads while others struggle even remembering what they had for breakfast the day before. In particular, I want to focus on internal knowledge and how people use it as a “memory bank” essentially. Some memories are kept throughout a lifetime, and some only last half a day until they are thrown out and never to be remembered. Basically, as Donald Norman writes in chapter three, “knowledge in the mind is ephemeral: here now, gone later” (80). But what exactly are the kinds of memories that people retain? Is it possible to know which ones we will keep longer than others?

A NY Times article titled “Praise is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall” might just have an answer to those questions. It suggests that, based upon research, people tend to remember more negative events and that they hold much more weight in our brain’s capacity. This is based upon both physiological and psychological reasons. Positive and negative information are handled in separate hemispheres of the brains; negative information is processed more systematically, which we tend to reflect more upon. There are also signs of this occurring in animals as well.

Bad events, therefore, take more time to wear off than good ones. In interviewing adults up to fifty years old about their childhoods, researchers found that bad memories were more prevalent, even with people who said they had a happy upbringing. The article continues for several more paragraphs and is a very interesting read, but the main point that I want to bring up is that more often than not, people tend to remember bad events moreso than good ones. 

In relating this to technology, I often ponder if this is why violent video games can have an effect on making kids more violent as they get older. If bad events are more likely to be processed in the brain and committed to memory, wouldn’t it make sense that violent, gory, video games could impression the brain to be more malicious? What are your guys’ thoughts on all of this? Do you believe that bad events tend to be remembered more easily than good ones? And could these bad memories, like violent video games, cause the brain to react in such a way that makes the person more violent and aggressive? 

 

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Do you know about the new “Secret Boards”? If not, you may be missing out!

Pinterest is one of my favorite online activities! To those of you who have never used it here are the basics:

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Who uses Pinterest? According to ComScore, about 30% of users are 25-34 years old and about 80% are female. In addition, about 60% of Pinterest users have earned a college degree and about 60% of users live in a household with an income of $25-75K.

You may be asking yourself, why is Pinterest so popular? First, Pinterest visually stands out. It is like a visual bulletin board for the Web. Second, it thrives on beautifully simple images of ideas

 groups together on a board of a user’s page. In addition, users can follow all of a user’s board or just a single board. Lastly, you can view or locate boards based on a subject, topic, or them. Some popular searches are crafts, gifts, fashion, interior design, and holidays.Image

So what about these new “secret” boards? Well a recent article, “Pinterest Secret Boards Keep Your Pinning Under Wraps,” announces Pinterests new “secret boards” that are only viewable to the user and not to the public or the users friends. Prior to this change, what you pins were viewable to the public and also to your friends. Now, just in time for the holidays, you can pin gift ideas, party ideas, and anything else you don’t want others to see.  

Well who cares about these “secret” boards? Large and small companies get A LOT of referral traffic from Pinterest. In fact, Pinterest is the new leading referral traffic generator for retail brands. You can bet that Pinterest will be going crazy around the holidays mainly because of those popular topics I listed earlier (crafts, gifts, fashion, interior design, and holidays). Also, a lot of other online social networking sites have seen the growth and momentum of Pinterest and are working to add some of the same features to their sites.