Researchers claim sharing photos on social media could destroy your memory

Researchers claim sharing photos on social media could destroy your memory

If you whip out your phone to capture every moment of your trip and share them on social media, it might be time to put it in your pocket as a new study from Fairfield University claims that doing otherwise could destroy your memory.

According to study author Linda Henkel, Ph.D, a person does not engage in cognitive processing when he or she conveniently relies on the camera. Calling it the "photo-taking impairment effect", Henkel states that people do not pay attention to the details or create an enduring memory as they tell their brains that the camera does the job.

The findings are based on an observation of two groups of museum attendees where one group snapped photos of what they saw and the other group refrained from doing so. Compared to the group who did not take photos, the photographers could not recall as many details about the things they saw.

You still can take photos without affecting your cognitive processing by zooming in. Henkel shares that this will give more focused attention to the object, and in turn assists you in remembering the particular object, moment or scene. Discussing the photos with your peers is another alternative.

While the article specifically mentioned Instagram, we also can draw parallel to other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Seeing how most people are already keeping photos in albums since the advent of digital photography, this social trend may not necessarily be a bad thing. Nonetheless, we feel it is better to enjoy the moment or scenery with your loved ones than try getting a nice shot for sharing on social media.


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