Nowadays, everyone has a high-powered computer at their fingertips.
If you have a smartphone, the computing power of that device alone is more powerful than the computers we used to first send people to space. That’s insane! Most smartphones also have high-powered cameras that continue to improve in quality with each release.
With a quality camera in our pockets, of course it makes sense that we would take more photos of the world around us. Just one click sends those photos to social media where the world can see our travel photos or selfies. Scientists were interested in what this does to our brains, specifically our memories, and what they found out is really fascinating.
Research recently showed that we retain less information when using Google or taking a photo because we “outsource” our brainpower. Scientists wanted to know how this would affect memory, too.
They learned that when we take photos, our visual memory becomes sharper and we remember details.
While the sights we remember may be clearer, this comes at the expense of another sense: sound.
The experiment involved people in a museum listening to an audio tour of the exhibitions. Some were told to take more than 10 photos, while others were not given cameras.
The people who took pictures had better memories about what they saw, even the parts of the museum that they didn’t photograph.
Those without the cameras remembered much more of the audio tour.
“These findings suggest that having a camera changes how people approach an experience in a fundamental way,” the authors said.
(via IFL Science)
This new information can really help us make the most of our experiences. Remember: if you want to remember what you’re hearing with family and friends, put the phone away. If you want to capture an amazing view, go right ahead and take that picture!