Although it isn’t technically an ad, rather a “short documentary,” Sharma’s journey nonetheless promotes “Facebook Stories,” the social network’s editorial page which highlights “People using Facebook in extraordinary ways.”
If Memento had a sequel, this would be it …
Mayank Sharma is a 29 year-old technology writer from New Delhi.
He can’t remember where he was or when it happened, but one morning in 2010, Sharma awoke with absolutely no memory of the first 26 years of his life.
Tuberculosis meningitis ravaged his nervous system and eventually morphed into hydrocephalus: stripping him of all of his memories.
He could no longer recognize his father…
… his mother …
… or his brother.
“I couldn’t even recognize my own reflection,” Sharma said. “I had to get used to the idea that this is how I look.”
Sharma had to relearn basic things, like how to walk. But, as he told Facebook, “I remember crawling up a flight of stairs on all fours, but I don’t remember the effort, or the pain or the sense of achievement I felt. Can you really call that a memory?”
When he was able, Sharma began to use the computer again. He went through his old search histories to try to piece together his old life.
As soon as he saw a tab that read “People You May Know,” Sharma knew he had (re)found an important tool.
Sharma started with a simple question: “Do I know you?”
And so it began.
Sharma created a Facebook Page imploring friends, family, and acquaintances to “Help me (re)build my Memory Palace.”
In October 2010, Mayank posted “I’m sure there are lots of people here I went to school with, that aren’t on my friends list. I’d *really* like to hear from them … They have something of mine. Memories …”
“… I want them back.”
Facebook Stories Video Screengrab