It’s no mystery that photography and memories are part and parcel with one another, but new research from a team at Princeton University in the United States says that your social media recollections, specifically citing Instagram Stories, have a real effect on how you remember the events recorded.
As photography has become increasingly accessible to the consumer market it has become easier for people to capture everyday life via film. This process was amplified by massive magnitudes with the advent of the Internet and, later, social media platforms, especially those like Instagram.
Now almost any daily occurrence, from the cliche Instagram meal photo to an amazing day at the beach, can become fodder for thousands of other voyeurs out there.
A paper published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology outlines how the research team from Princeton discovered that people who record their memories through social media tend to remember precise details of said event less clearly than those who do not.
The team asked participants to take a self-guided tour of a campus cathedral or watch a TED talk and tasked them with recording their memories of the event in different ways. Enjoyment and engagement, two metrics also measured by the team, were not impacted by the use of social media to record the experience; however, those that did had a harder time recalling the details of the experience.
In all other metrics, there was parity except in the recollection department.
Resource Magazine Online cites the “Google Effect,” the “phenomenon in which the Internet replaces your memory.”
If we’re offering opinions, it would seem the ubiquity of information and recording of personal experiences we have now, on any medium, dwarfs that of any previous era and the details thereof are also probably so overwhelming in quantity that losing a few here and there might not be a bad thing.