Fritzie -

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What are the most useful ways of retaining memories?

In a conversation which closed recently on TED, discussants considered the question of whether taking photographs adds to, or detracts from, ones experiences of life over time. For some, taking photographs destroys the moment and they find preserving an artifact to jog memory as artificial - that important memories will be retained automatically. Others disagreed.
My question is whether maintaining any sorts of artifacts, journal entries, or other forms of documentation add to your experience of your life? If you maintain a journal or record of some kind, what sort of tidbit do you capture? What you saw? How you felt? Snippets of conversation? A sight that might become a prompt for creative work? Do you return to these periodically and put them to particular use?

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    May 16 2012: photographs , videos, places, symbols
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    May 12 2012: May I point out that the phrase "retaining memories" is redundant. By that I mean that there can be no such thing as an unretained memory. When a memory becomes no longer accessible it ceases to be a memory.
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      May 12 2012: I was thinking about things that trigger memories, so that when one sees or hears them, it calls forward a memory that might otherwise not surface.
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        May 13 2012: Ahhh! I responded to the word "memories". You intended the word "mementoes." The best way to retain mementoes is in curio cabinets, scrapbooks, picture albums, or safe deposit boxes. Now did I answer the correct question Fritzie?
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          May 13 2012: I don't know if you are joking. People may have an experience they want to remember. At first they may remember everything, but what they recall diminishes over time. This is natural for everyone and most pronounced with people who are becoming challenged in remembering things.
          Some people believe that anyting you don't automatically remember isn't worth remembering. Others may write something down or retain some artifact. They do this because writing something down or seeing the artifact may bring forward from the recesses of mind where the memory is kept hidden a surprising level of detail of the experience that moments before was hidden from them.
          If your reply was a joke, I am sorry. I always assume the response is serious.
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        May 13 2012: I was not joking Fritzie. I thought you were talking about brain physiology, aka memory. I apologize.
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    May 12 2012: i think photographs do play an predominant role in retaining memories!!
    photographs portray the exact sense of feeling that we have gone through the moment in the past!!!
    even photographs+artifacts do provide nostalgic behaviour Ex:i was doing this at that moment,he/she was with me,he presented me on my birthday etc etc..
    i don't think documents do provide such feeling!!!
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      May 12 2012: Do you have mementoes, though, from people who are deceased, from activities that were meaningful to you, or from trips or experiences outside your normal daily life?

      I also know people who maintain journals of writing or who draw/paint what they experience in the way others might take photographs.