Taking pictures could ruin the memory, says new study

Taking photos might not create lasting memories the same way you may think. Credit: Colourbox
Taking photos might not create lasting memories the same way you may think.
Credit: Colourbox

In our it-didn’t-happen-unless-it’s-on-Instagram culture, photographing something you want to remember is a no-brainer. But a new study says taking pictures can actually make people less likely to remember what happened. Published in the Psychological Science journal, researchers found that taking the time to photograph something takes away from actually experiencing the moment, making memories are less likely to sink in.

The study was conducted by sending two groups into a museum – one group was given cameras and the other group wasn’t. Both groups were given the same guided tour, but the group without cameras remembered more. The only exception was when the photos were zoomed in really close on a specific detail. People who zoomed in remembered the details in their photo better than people who didn’t take photos at all, though they still didn’t remember more about the exhibit as a whole.

So the next time you’re heading out to something you want to remember forever, snap a few pics, but focus on actually savoring every moment, not trying to capture it all on your phone.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence



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