New Research Shows Instagram Stories Impact How You Remember Your Everyday Life

By Kehl Bayern / June 11, 2018

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.

Image via Pixabay from

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.


About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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