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Still Waters

Taking photos changes our memories of the past

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Still Waters
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For many people, taking hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures is now a crucial part of going on holiday – documenting every last detail and posting it on social media. But how does that affect our actual memories of the past – and how we view ourselves? 

Nowadays we tend to commit very little to memory – we entrust a huge amount to the cloud. Not only is it almost unheard of to recite poems, even the most personal events are generally recorded on our cellphones. Rather than remembering what we ate at someone’s wedding, we scroll back to look at all the images we took of the food.

https://theconversation.com/our-obsession-with-taking-photos-is-changing-how-we-remember-the-past-109285

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sci-nerd

We are so busy documenting, that we miss experiencing.

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DieChecker

Is this then called a photographic memory?

 

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Sheltie

There is a growing trend, especially among younger people, to document as much about their daily lives as they can.  This concerns me because I think in the long run it has the potential to cause emotional harm.  

Researchers have documented several cases of an extremely rare mental phenomenon known as Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM).  Individuals with HSAM have the ability to recall every minute of their life going back to a very early age.

Total Recall: The People Who Never Forget

Most of the people with this ability, such as actress Marilu Henner, have ended up alone due to relationship struggles.  For those of us who don't have the ability, it's difficult to imagine living a life where you are unable to forget past traumatic experiences.  HSAM must be both a blessing and a curse.  I can't imagine the emotional weight such people must carry on their shoulders.  

  

 

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Podo

I had a direct experience with this. On my first international trip, I was so excited to have left the country for the first time, I took hundreds of photos. Several days in, I went to a museum that did not allow photographs. To this day, I remember that museum better than anything else on that trip, because I didn't take a billion photographs. From then on, I carefully ration how many photos I take. I still take photos, because some photos are great, but not nearly so many as to forget what it was that I did.

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godnodog

In a related note, whenever we access a memory we degrade that memory, so sometimes our brain "creates" memories to try to fill the blank spaces, so in this regards photos/videos are also good

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jmccr8

I am not completely convinced, one would think that because cell phones and cameras are not allowed in prisons and yet there are those that cannot remember the hows and whys of how they got there.:lol:

jmccr8

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