Digital Cameras Are Messing With Your Memory

This is a very interesting article, and certainly worth reading if you are a snap happy digital camera fiend.

In a paper set for publication in Psychological Science, Henkel calls her finding the “photo-taking-impairment effect.” When people know a camera will document an object or event, they may well dismiss it from their own mind. Digital cameras seem particularly conducive to the effect since it’s far easier (and cheaper) to take and store digital pictures than it is to develop film or compile photo albums.

This right here is the big problem: too many photos, no good way to organize and view them. We take photos with no thought of how we will edit, curate and archive them. We don’t have this skill, and we need to develop it.:

The larger problem, says Henkel, occurs when people amass so many digital photographs that organizing them becomes a prohibitive task. So not only is their memory for the moment impaired, but they’ve lost the ability to recover it, too. “I think if people were more mindfully photographing things, if maybe they were making fewer photos with more choice and interaction with these things, that’s where you’d not see the photos impairing you,” she says. “And obviously looking at the photos afterward. Reminiscing about them–using them as a retrieval.”