In Charles Baxter’s essay, “Shame and forgetting in the Information Age”, he divides his essay into five parts. First part of the story is about his brother who suffered from “learning disability”. Second part is an introduction about memory, shame, and forgetting in the information age. In third, forth, and fifth parts, he gives more examples and explanations of memory, shame, and forgetting individually.
In the first part, he talks about his brother who could remember everything when he listened to stories but had trouble with reading and writing some information. Also, his brother felt shame when he forgot some information. I think through this experience, the author attempts to make easy to approach what he is going to say about memory, shame, and forgetting in this information era.
According to Baxter, “We are all (well, most of us) computer users now” (Baxter, p.146). He also says, “’Our memories’ are memories of our experiences in narrative form…Data, by contrast, the proliferating facts and figures, can easily be stored” (Baxter, P. 146). That means we are forced to expose a lot of information even though we don’t want to get it. Sometimes knowing and remembering of a lot of professional information has authority. That is why people feel shame to forget some information because he thinks they lose faces in front of people. The author says that our capacity for remembering or even having experiences has reduced due to an increasing information exposure. Lastly, to cope with the excessive information age, the author advised that we need to forget something strategically. He mentions that “Strategic amnesia has everything to do with the desire to create or destroy personal histories. It has everything to do with the way we tell stories (Baxter, p. 145).
I think the purpose of the Baxter’s writing is to inform us how we get useful information and experiences for our daylily life in this information age.