Memory is Faulty: Stream of Consciousness Saturday


It’s been a while since I’ve taken part in Stream of Consciousness Saturday, organized by blogger LindaGHill, and I’ve missed it! So here I am in time for this week’s prompt, which is “memory.” My first thought on this?

That memory is faulty — yet how often don’t we overlook this fact, often to our detriment?

I can’t tell you how many times I, or people around me, have wasted time and/or gotten upset with someone else based on something “remembered” which turns out to have been incorrect. This effect is compounded when it’s based on someone else’s memory.

Instead of first asking the person about what was said or done, and considering all possibilities, many of us get stuck on the one way we’re sure something happened.

Why do we do this to ourselves and those around us? If we need any proof of how bad our memories can be, just take a look at the countless stories of eyewitness accounts which have turned out to be proven wrong — if people can misremember important details in such serious situations, who are we to think our recollections of more minor events would be any better?

Take, for instance, the following sources confirming the unreliability of eyewitness accounts and our memories:

(Incidentally, although I’m writing this off-the-cuff as per the SOCS guidelines, I had to look up and link to some sources here so I don’t sound like my stance is baseless!)

There are countless other results that pop up when you search for this topic, but they all boil down to the same conclusion:

Don’t over-rely on your memories.

Just don’t assume that what you remember is 100% accurate — and certainly don’t let it affect how you interact with others. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, and by the way, as I write this, I’m also telling this to myself; in no way am I above jumping to conclusions based on inaccurate recollections! Just ask any of the relatives or co-workers who I’ve been convinced have an item of mine that I need — I’ll swear they borrowed it last or that I saw them put it someplace…

only to discover that I had it somewhere else all along.

You know you do it, too. Hopefully you can remember that at least? 🙂


  1. Very good points. I know my memory is faulty. It would be nice if everyone admitted to this imperfection. I remember having at least two discussions with two different people ( I remember them very well) who were so sure of themselves, I backed down, even though I knew I was right. I even went so far as to check my sources of information and confirmed I was right. Neither was a big issue and I let them go. Or did I?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hate situations like that! Did you ever get to tell them later on, once you even double-checked your info? Could be awkward to do that, but I’d be so tempted to…I don’t blame you for not being able to let that go!


  2. Yep, we’re all guilty at least once in a while. For instance, when I’m trying to remember a number, I associate it with something I’m familiar with, and I think we tend to do that with most things we feel we have to remember. So it’s no wonder our memories wander a bit.
    Thanks very much for joining in this week! 😀 I’ve missed your SoCS posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m watching this new series where the first half is the man’s memory of the story and the second half is her memory of the story. I admit, it’s a fascinating take. Makes me think deeply about perception, wishful thinking, and truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. As someone, who mixes up and forgets – I thank you for this post. Memory plays amazing games with us and often lands me in a soup. If only we understood that everyone is facing the exact same situation, we will be happier.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have done the same, it’s very hard to admit when you’re wrong, that pride gets in the way. Very thought-provoking and insightful post. You came up with sources to back up your post, wish I had thought of that! Guess I just forgot hee hee 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a thoughtful direction to go with memory–and you’re right: the faulty and subjective nature of memory is a part of life, and often a source of conflict. I hope I never have to give evidence in court b/c I would probably question my own memories. (I also added a couple of links, but the topic Linda chose related to one I’d written about a few days earlier.)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. By the way, I’m glad you put in the links: I just read the first one (didn’t have time to click on it this morning), which was fascinating, and hope to check out the others. Maybe Linda makes the rules somewhat open deliberately.

        Liked by 1 person

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