Snapping Lost Memories

According to new research, a desultory snapping of photos impairs our memory.  We can’t remember the individual objects because we merely skim them.  The reverse is also true:  we remember objects much better when we use the camera to focus in on the object.

I think a similar effect is happening in our newsfeeds.  Some of us just like photos for the sake of double-tapping, getting into a rhythm that’s like moving forward dribbling a basketball.  This frenetic pace means we’re less likely to remember that image and develop and emotional bond to it.  

What inculcates the image in our memories is fuller engagement.  Did the user leave a comment or tag a friend on the post?  How can you forget that action?

Of course, ambient awareness also says that we still notice each other’s content whether we interact with it or not.  Images, like ads, are flashes that are hard to forget especially if they’re our friends.  

Photographs and likes mean more when they’re done slower and more steadily.  Focus seems to make everything more memorable.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.