8 February 2009

a little more about active remembering

(Apology and advance warning: approach this post, written whilst feeling tired and worthy, with caution.) Had an argument about the T-Mobile ad with someone in the week. Well, not really an argument, more of a disagreement in conversation. This argument's been going back and forth for a couple of weeks. Some people love it, others don't. It's done its job, of course, because everyone's talking about it. And I can see why people love it. There's a big part of me that wants to as well. I love the spontaneous dancing you get in musicals, for example. But it just feels a bit contrived and, ironically, disconnected for me. So I was going to post something about it, to try to explain why it left me feeling so cold. But then I read two lovely things about connectedness by Asi and Ted. And they made me remember something about active remembering which I'd started to develop. The thing they have in common with each other and the T-Mobile ad is how technologies are enabling people to express themselves in new relations to each other and to brands (and the best brands to people, obviously). We're springing up all sorts of content around our friendships, loves, families and even the vaguest of acquaintances. Pushing what feel like more meaningful emotional buttons. So I found myself thinking how social media and the technologies that support them are a kind of active remembering tool. You might be posting to your Facebook, Twitter, blog or something else to actively remember yourself to a friend. A kind of "remember what we have" message. Or to actively remember an experience you shared, putting your memories in a communal place. And I know that's all kind of obvious. But anyway. It made me feel quite wow. Active remembering is a way of expressing your identity in different contexts and spaces again and again. Some of them may be individual, and some of them may be social. And it made me think, what a powerful thing for brands to harness. And then again, if you're trying to shout about it before you've really, meaningfully, invested in enabling it, you're probably doing it the wrong way around. (Pic courtesy of this person.)

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