Snapping a photo has become a simple everyday occurrence for anyone with a smartphone. We’ve become so used to capturing moments with a camera, but what if by taking photos all the time, we’re actually more likely to forget the things that we’ve seen? A new study carried out by Linda Henkel from Fairfield University suggests that trigger happy camera users will struggle to remember all those special moments captured.
Taking it All In
The study focused on a group of students who visited an art museum. Half were asked to take photos of a number of exhibits, while other were asked to just look at these exhibits. The next day all of the students were asked questions about the exhibits they were instructed to look at, and guess who remembered more? Students who didn’t take any snaps had a much clearer memory of what they had seen, while the photographers struggled to remember any details.
Filling the Sack
While the argument of ‘by taking photos the memory can be jogged years later’ holds true to a degree, here another problem rears its heads. Many of us do not sort or label all the photos we take, they just amass on our phones memory until it is full. They are then perhaps backed up in the cloud or an external hard drive, and rarely looked at again. After years this pile of photos is so big that many people are put off looking back through them all.
One Picture is Enough
These types of psychological studies shine light on many emerging trends connected with new technology. It’s worth bearing these findings in mind if you’re snap happy when with friends or at a big family event. By spending too much time behind the lens you may not be paying enough attention to the wonderful moments unfolding before your very eyes.