Internet of Dreams

history and future, material and immaterial, real and imaginary, fiction and non: what does it matter when it's all internet?...
archive. about. by joanne mcneil (@jomc)

May 5, 2013 at 1:38pm
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Fake Memories

I sign up for so many social networks and online services, it is hard to keep them straight. Last year, I got an email from MemoLane, a service sort of like TimeHop (it shut down recently, as those fly-by-night web apps tend to do.) I couldn’t even remember ever joining the service when they sent me the first message.

The email said “Today’s memos are from 3 years ago” and it included the text of a tweet and two images from Twitpic.

The tweet for that day read: “Just spent $100 on boxes. Objects defined not by themselves but by what they hold. Currently, nothing. Thin air. Seems wrong somehow..”

Now, that sounds like the kind of thing I would post to twitter. But I couldn’t remember writing it. Nor could I remember spending $100 on boxes. I did however, recognize the images from Twitpic…I went out to Boston Common that evening and photographed the sunset. I don’t remember buying boxes that day. But, it wouldn’t be the first time I’d looked at old writing failing to recognize any traces of myself in it.


Sometime later, I would discover that MemoLane recorded the tweets I starred. But there was nothing about the design to indicate the favorited tweets were not my own.

I spent about three months assuming that I wrote that tweet. Without good options for searching the archive of twitter, I have no idea who the actual author was….a friend of mine with a locked account, perhaps?

If you bought boxes April 29, 2009 and wrote about it on twitter, please do get in touch…


Update: Guan Yang noticed there was a Twitter ID number in the source code of the email. Here is the original tweet:



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