Am I suffering from Archive fever? Should I call a doctor?

Photo by: Monique Campanella
Photo by: Monique Campanella

What did you post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on this day 1 year ago? Can you remember? How about 5 or 10 years ago? No? Well don’t worry because now there is an app for that. Introducing TimeHop.

“Timehop helps you celebrate the best moments of the past with your friends. It’s like #tbt every day! What were you doing a year ago today? Two years? Three years? Timehop brings together your old photos and posts from your iPhone, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Foursquare and replays your past a day at a time. You’ll quickly fall in love with checking your daily Timehop. Give it a try today!” [ ]

When I first started thinking about archives I thought of crusty old mould smelling books buried away in a library that had not been touched for years. My mind drifted to thoughts of intense sorting systems that stored away ancient information from centuries ago. This is what I imagine most people would think about when they hear the word archive. However the word archive simply relates to anything that stores information. So this could be a simply as my high school diary to something as advanced as an app like Timehop that stores al my past statues from Facebook or selfies from Instagram.

So when thinking about archives one must remember that then can come in both physical and digital forms. For example physical forms could be letters or books where as digital forms could be anything from YouTube to ones email inbox. Jacques Derrida, author of ‘Archive Fever’ explains the importance of understanding and studying archives because they lay the basis of authority as they essentially decide what is “inside” or “outside” of culture.

When talking about social media platforms this same idea could stand as what we chose to publish or not publish relates to our sense of ourselves. It as been said in the past that social media sites are hard to navigate in terms of trying to find a status or picture you uploaded a year ago today or even five years ago. However with apps such as TimeHop it is now easier than ever before to see what the old you was doing on social media as these apps do all the work for you.

Could it be said then that anyone who indulges with apps like TimeHop daily could be suffering from Archive Fever. I must admit that at one point not long ago I was interacting with TimeHop daily. As someone who spent the last two years traveling the world I became obsessed with the app and found myself looking at it everyday as it informed me what part of the world I was in on this exact day a year or two ago. I deleted the app as I found myself constantly living in the past as I tried to cope with entering back into the mundane routine of work and uni life. Could it be said then that I was suffering from Archive Fever.


Ogle, M 2009, ‘Archive Fever – A Love Letter To The Post Real-Time Web’’, accessed 25March 2011

Enszer, J.R. 2008, ‘Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression by Jacques Derrida , , last accessed 26 March 2011

 Stokes, J 2003, ‘Reading Notes: Archive Fever’, , accessed 25 March 2011


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