According to research by website Pencourage, one in six people who were asked about events they write about online say their memories have been compromised.
The poll found that two-thirds of web users stretch the truth. For example they claim they were out with friends when they really stayed at home, or they invent entire relationships or holidays to make others jealous.
Lying to make oneself may sound more exciting but embellishment of the facts can make it harder to remember where the truth ends and lies begin. A fifth of those aged between 18 to 24 admitting their profiles on sites such as Facebook bear no resemblance to reality.
Built on previous research of the impact of social media on memory, the poll concluded social networks such as Twitter are unequivocally 'damaging to autobiographical memory.'
For me as a woman of advancing years, I tend to shy away from revealing personal history. I'd hate to think my family would be hurt. If you feel hard done by, keep it to yourself. No good can come of sharing your angst with the world.
But, I must 'fess up. The photo I use on my social websites is out of date—by fifteen years. My reasoning is that nobody wants to see an aging woman and that photo is of the real me, albeit taken by a professional. Here's the before and after, in case you want a laugh. If anything, the comparison will keep my memory real.
I AM THE SAME
I am the same now as at ten years
So full of laughter, then racked with tears
I learned to keep myself steady then
The only one, on whom I'd depend.
I am the same now as at twenty
Smooth youthful beauty, there was plenty
Joyful, bountiful years of sunshine
Golden, wonderful life in my prime.
I am the same now as at thirty
Learning then to become less flirty
To care for others along with me
And cuddle the children on my knee.
I am the same now as at forty
Teenage children becoming naughty
But offering love no matter what
And wondering if that's all I got.
I am the same now as at fifty
Adjusting to become less thrifty
The world expanding as I travelled
Observing, as loose ends unravelled.
I am the same now as at sixty
Then things started to become tricky
Gone the elasticity of youth
Replaced by maturity of truth.