Taking Pictures to Remember May Help You Forget
There was a study done on museum goers, and the results were published recently. The study revealed that people that looked at pieces of art and sculptures were more likely to remember what they had seen than those who had just taken pictures of them. This means that taking a picture to help you remember something might end up having the opposite effect.
In our modern world, almost everything we do is shared on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Linda Henkel of Fairfield University in Connecticut was the author of the study. She believes that people whip out their cameras so often to mindlessly capture a moment that they actually miss out on what is really happening in front of their eyes.
Henkel's experiment was fairly simple. She had students go on a tour of the museum and take notes either by photographing them or observing them. The next day, the students were quizzed on these objects. The students that just observed the art fared much better than those who photographed it. Henkel now calls this the photo-taking impairment effect. "When people rely on technology to remember for them, counting on the camera to record the event and thus not needing to attend to it fully themselves, it can have a negative impact on how well they remember their experiences," Henkel said.
The other thing that Henkel found was that pictures do actually help people remember things, but only if they observe and review them. The problem with this is that most people have an overabundance of pictures on their phones and do not really look at them frequently.