Capturing a Moment:
Don't Take a Photo

By Stephanie Peters

We all feel that we need to preserve a certain moment to our memory through taking photos on our phones, but it turns out that this may be actually obstructing our recall of it. 


A lot of research has shown that when we use our cameras instead of our memories, we begin to rely on the camera to remember it for us and any kind of elaborate emotional processing that would usually help to engage in a moment, are taken away. A scientist has come up with a frightening term for this phenomenon: the ‘photo-taking-impairment effect’.

How many times have you put some pictures into dropbox and thought you would make an album, and never looked at them again?


Moreover, “it turns out that it actually changes your perspective on the experience, whether you’re in a photo of it or not,” a psychologist Henkel said. From a study, she found that you become more removed from a certain moment if you are in the image as opposed to viewing it; you become an observer watching yourself doing something outside yourself, whereas when you are viewing a picture where you are not in it, you are instead reliving the experience through our own eyes and therefore remembering it more.


Despite cameras being of incredible quality, remembering a moment by taking in all the sensory information of it and processing it without taking a photo, helps you to capture it a whole lot better.


“Cameras are a lesser version of the human information-processing system.”