Mnenophagy is an exploration of the impact of technology on memory. Meaning literally, “the devouring of memory”, this project uses the case of the Checkpoints community, a digital community whose point of congregation was deleted by YouTube, as an example of the dangers of relying on technology as a repository for memory. This project and research provide novel contributions to the field of cyberethnography, the study of digital communities, and digital ontology, the study of the nature of being in the digital age. It seeks to hypothesize current and future impacts to memory by technology. Additionally, it clarifies the phenomena surrounding the erosion of memory in the technological age. By way of Frederich Kittler, Martin Heidegger, and Frances Yates, it traces the interplay as one where technology eats away at memory through a process called “mnemophagy”.
This dissertation explores precedents of memory substrates, their impact on remembering and posits that the terminal goal of technology is the abolition of memory. Specifically, it explores digital-prime memories or memories engendered in digital environments and speculates on means of preservation and transmission.