Forgetting versus Not Remembering


Forgetting versus Not Remembering

Is there a difference between forgetting, and not remembering? More than just a quirk of the English language that means they might look like the same thing at first glance.

It’s a distinction that might help you wriggle out of a bind in the future. It’s not that you forgot something, it’s that you didn’t remember. It might also explain how tip-of-the-tongue facts elude you watching University Challenge or at the pub quiz.

Some people might argue that it is all purely semantics, or word play. Remembering and forgetting are opposites, they might say, so “not remembering” is the same as “forgetting.” But, like language, the science of memory is complicated. For information to be retained it has to jump through a lot of hoops in the brain. And even then, most of it is lost within days.

Think back to your last encounter with a stranger. The person sat opposite you on the bus, train or tube this morning. The cashier at the corner shop or barista who handed you your morning coffee. Chances are you can’t recall much about them. What were they wearing, what about the colour of their top? You don’t know – but did you forget that information, or did you not remember it in the first place?

Forgetting implies that the information made its way into your brain at some point but that you have trouble getting it back out again. You know when Mother’s Day is (pro-tip, it’s this weekend!) but you forget in the hustle and bustle of life to order flowers, or that it’s this weekend and not still in the distant future.

When prompted, given clues or hints, or reminded properly, the information comes flooding back.

But with not remembering that information never really makes it into your mind in the first place. Maybe you get distracted before you can really make a note of it, before it is embedded. And then it is gone and no amount of prompting or reminders will get it back and you just draw a complete blank.

Of course, with MessageMia you don’t need to worry about either forgetting or not remembering. You don’t need to rely on your busy brain at all. Just make a note with Mia and you will never forget – or not remember – your great ideas, tasks or to-do list jobs. Mia is your hands-free to-do list and on-the-go note-taker. 

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