These days it’s hard to go anywhere, except maybe a Jack White concert, without seeing folks taking out their phones to capture a moment, but it turns out taking all those pictures may not be helping you remember that great experience. That’s because, according to a new report, folks aren’t actually experiencing the moment.
A new study suggests that all this picture taking with Smartphones is causing people to lose their memories, simply because they are so distracted with their phones they don’t remember what they’ve experienced. As "Vox" points out, without paying attention, our brains won’t store the experience.
The study, to be published in the “Journal of Experimental Social Psychology,” had a few hundred participants visit the Stanford Memorial Church at Stanford University, asking them to take note of certain details, with some in the group given iPods to take pictures, and others given nothing. When quizzed about what they saw a week later, those without a camera got 70% of the questions right, while those with the camera only got 60%.
- The bottom line is this: The camera acts as a distraction, with the study author noting that with so many folks with cameras these days, “we’ve just inserted into our daily lives potentially a giant source of distraction.” They also suggest that it may not just be the cameras, but texting and tweeting, and other phone use, that could be blamed for memory issues.