Smell is one of the strongest memory triggers. When my wife and I first met online one of her questions was about my favorite smells and I told her that the scent of bacon reminded my of my childhood. We had an elderly neighbor next door and the scent of bacon cooking on a crisp fall morning as I walked to school makes me feel like a little kid again and I’m whisked back to walking the street past her house as a schoolboy.
Other memory triggers fascinate me. Have you ever had a dream about someone you’ve not seen in years? Or perhaps your mind wanders to a place you only vaguely remember yet desire to visit again? How about a memory of a time that something didn’t go the way you wanted and you wish you could change it? Or perhaps again, in a dream, you encounter a person you only met once briefly and many years ago.
Another trigger is music. If I hear The Cars I’m taken back to riding in my buddy’s car in the cool of a summer night before I had my license. Fred introduced me to The Cars, Oingo Boingo, DEVO and, oh yes, the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Fun stuff that. I associate many friends to with the music they introduced me to. Maybe that’s another reason why Spotify is so addicting?
Today as I passed the LEGO store in the mall I saw Darth Vader’s Flagship and it reminded me of another friend and blogger, @Tacanderson, who now resides in London.
Another friend, @AnnKlein, was on vacation in Guatemala and she saw Nutella on a menu and it reminded her of me! How nice to be thought of from half a world away.
Well, today I did something about these fun memories. I let at least one person know that my memory of them was triggered by something as simple as a scent, a song, window shopping or whatever. To me that’s another testament to the power of the internet and yes, even social media.
A takeaway for you?
If something triggers a memory in you today let that person know. Maybe send them a Tweet, a text, a post on their Facebook wall, give them a +1 or some Klout. You may make this crazy world a little brighter by doing this simple thing.