Quick: Which one is more memorable -- Your child's first day of kindergarten or Princess Diana's crash?
If we are to believe a new study, people have stronger, clearer memories of major news events than personal memories. A full 82 percent of those surveyed could recall the events of 9/11 in detail, while only 65 percent could picture their first child's birth as clearly.
Just 50 percent could remember their child's first birthday, leading me to wonder: Were 50 percent of the respondents men?
On the one hand, these results are a no-brainer. OJ's terrifying car chase was played and replayed mercilessly on the airwaves, seen by millions, talked about by everyone, non-stop. Whereas my first child's birth wasn't even videotaped. Still, I feel like I remember most of it in pretty vivid colour.
I can't speak for the mums surveyed but I attribute the hazy parts to being fairly exhausted during and post-birth. I understand sleep-deprivation can affect memory, hence the scientific term "mumnesia."My children's first birthday? I remember the first one's first birthday more clearly than the second one's first birthday (I feel very guilty about this, little Prince). This may have something to do with the fact that my son's first birthday was, in fact, better documented and the videos more widely distributed than those of most major world events. Or maybe I just need to believe that I have more details in my head about his tiny fist pounding the red-velvet cake than I do about Joey Buttafuoco. Or Enron.
To me it's all about the pictures. What pictures are we looking at most often and what feelings do they evoke? I am inspired. It's time to start pulling my digital pictures out of the computer and paste them into bound photo albums. This way, we can pack our brains with more joyful family stories.
Do you have more vivid memories of major news events or those special moments from your own personal family history?