Some day in the not too distant future, your conversations will leave a visible trail if you want them to. A discussion you had with a friend outside your apartment, that debate with a fellow student at school, your declaration of true love in a favorite restaurant.

You will be able to see any of these events as a visible trail in the air. Not only will your memories be there when you go to visit those places, but they will also be available in your VR travels, whenever you decide to put on your cyber-glasses and visit old haunts.

An episode of Black Mirror presented a dystopian version of this capability, but I remained unconvinced. The people in that story didn’t seem to understand the implications of the technology, and so as inhabitants of such a reality their behavior made no sense. The equivalent in our world would be talking to a reporter and then being surprised when your words show up in the newspaper.

Should the day come when we can all leave trails of our every conversation, I think people will be much more sophisticated about it. There will be laws against invading someone else’s memories, just as there are now laws against hacking into somebody’s computer.

To me the more interesting question is how we will handle our own trails. Will you choose to keep your memories in sight? Will you allow yourself to see only the happy ones? Or will you decide to stay away from some places all together, so you won’t have the burden of deciding?

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