Cameras May Negatively Impact Our Memory

Mae Rice for Curiosity:

The basic takeaway here is that cameras impact our memories — but it’s not clear exactly how or why. One theory is that cameras, when they’re not used mindfully, distract us and distance us from the present moment. We split our attention between life itself and using the gadget in our hands. Since you can’t form a vivid memory without paying attention, it makes sense that we’d lose track of scenes we photographed.

I’m sure I’ve seen this premise before but this struck me as pretty balanced. I have owned nice DSLR cameras for over a decade but have mostly opted to leave them at home for most of the significant moments of our family’s life together. Something in me just felt like I’d miss something by messing with a large and fiddly camera. Over the last 8 months of our traveling adventures, I’ve taken many pictures but I make a conscience effort to take in a moment or a view before pulling out my phone. I also try to look for unique compositions with my camera that may or may not be helpful to my remembering the place/moment. I like to think it will 😉

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