First of all, whatever your age or orientation, go see Pixar’s new movie, Inside Out. If you need more reason than “it’s Pixar,” try this: it’s a sophisticated, hilarious, brilliant, warm, beautiful, and perfectly paced film that — finally — stars a girl who is not a princess.
While nominally about the emotions in a young girl’s head, the movie is also fundamentally about memories — how they stay with us, how they influence us, and how our feelings about them change.
One of my favorite scenes was a reminder that memories sometimes have to be cleared out for others to survive. I won’t say more about it, so as not to spoil a truly beautiful sequence, but it drove home a fundamental truth: Not every memory has equal value.
This might seem self-evident, but all our life-tracking apps and social networks aren’t really built to support a life of change and variance. Isn’t it worth considering how these digital tools might be taking something away from us — and how the very act of remembering, left in our own hands, might bring unexpected rewards?
We record everything. What we eat, whom we see, where we go. Between OpenTable, Uber, Instagram, and Fandango, you could probably replicate a huge portion of your life with frightening accuracy. (And that’s without access to credit card statements or the search history on your Google Maps.)