For most of human history, almost everything people did was forgotten, simply because it was so hard to record and retrieve things. But there was a benefit: “Social forgetting” allowed everyone to move on from embarrassing or ill-conceived moments in their lives.
Digital tools have eliminated that amnesty. Google caches copies of our blog postings; social-networking sites thrive by archiving our daily dish. Society now defaults to a relentless Proustian remembrance of all things past.