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“La mémoire ne filme pas. La mémoire photographie.”
When we discuss about photography and memory, the first thing that comes to our mind is photographic memory, what is called “eidetic imagery”; the ability of some people to “see” an image, in detail, a short while after it is taken away. The second thing is the belief that photos helps us remember more clearly moments and events important to us.
Thus, it is common to see everywhere tourists -including me- to take photos of everything -including me-; it is also common to get our smartphones out and photograph special events (birthdays, marriages, concerts, plays and festivals). But, psychological studies come to rebut this belief.
Studies at Fairfield University, Connecticat, by Dr. Linda Henkel, have shown that taking photos may obstruct memory. People rely their ability to remember in technological means and their attendance to the event becomes poor. In other words, they actually miss what happens around them. Photos can help memory only if we continue to interact with them, not only massively collect them and then neglect them.
Surely, this happens with all things and activities; you must engage to be bound with something. When you “tame” something, you make it unique.
Psychological Science, You Don’t Need To Take Pictures Of Everything – And Taking Photos May Impede Memory, News Staff, 09-12-2013.