There used to be a time when information junkies like us could read a book, watch a movie, or a TV show and the next day share all about the storyline with family, friends, or colleagues. In a fascinating article in The Atlantic by Julie Beck, "Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read and the Movies and TV Shows We Watch," we learn from Faria Sana, an assistant professor of psychology at Athabasca University in Canada: "Memory generally has a very intrinsic limitation. It's essentially a bottleneck."
We are living in a complicated media world. It doesn't matter whether you read a book quickly or slowly, watch TV series over time or binge watch them in one night, we are going to forget most of what they are about. All of us have a "forgetting curve" which is steepest after the first 24 hours following our experience of a media event or our learning of something new. In Beck's clever explanation: "For many, the experience of consuming culture is like filling up a bathtub, soaking in it, and then watching the water run down the drain. It might leave a film in the tub, but the rest is gone."