Remembering Through Facebook: Mediated Memory and Intimate Digital Traces

Brady Jay Robards, Sian Lincoln, Benjamin Pinkard, Jane Harris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Since its beginning in 2004, Facebook has come to serve as a digital record of life for young people who have been using the site through key periods of transition. With significant parts of their social and cultural lives played out on the site, users are able to turn to these profiles – these texts of transition often documenting significant relationships, work lives, education, leisure, and loss – to reflect on how their use of Facebook has come to constitute a life narrative. Like reading old journals, the act of ‘scrolling back’ through a Facebook profile can be both a nostalgic and a challenging experience. In this chapter, we report on findings from qualitative research into sustained use of Facebook by people in their twenties in Australia and in the UK. We examine the ways in which remembering happens through Facebook, as our participants reflect on the years of disclosures – and the disclosures of others – that make up their Facebook Timelines. By scrolling back with our participants on Facebook, we uncover how Facebook has come to be an archive of intimate memories and central in people’s processes of remembering and looking back on personal histories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Intimate Publics and Social Media
EditorsAmy Shields Dobson, Brady Robards, Nicholas Carah
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319976075
ISBN (Print)9783319976068
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


  • Facebook
  • memory
  • social media
  • youth

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