We have all done it at one time or another: lashed out our smartphones to snap a picture of a sunset that is too beautiful to forget, or stealthily photographed a particularly impressive dish at a restaurant.
It’s obvious that we document our lives to keep our memories from fading, but with such widespread use of cameras and phones. Are we taking too many pictures?
Now that everybody has a camera on their cell phone, we’re taking pictures like crazy. Are we taking too many? Did you know about 100 million pictures are uploaded to Facebook every day and the number increases on weekends, On the photo sharing sites like Flickr,Tumblr and Instagram there are already five billion pictures.
That’s because, these days, we don’t just take pictures on special occasions any more. Back in the old days, before we went digital, pictures were taken on special occasions, like birthdays, weddings and prom.
Now, we document every moment of our lives, and the pictures are often empty, with no connection to a memory or emotion. On the flip side, photography focuses on picture-taking as a creative process, where the process is more important than the picture.
It’s basically the difference between creating a memory, and just clicking away at everything in sight. Recent research shows that taking photos can actually impair your ability to recall details of the event later, despite -and likely because of the effort spent taking excessive photographs.
Of course, we’ve felt the need to take photos for decades, when almost everyone now owns a camera but research has confirmed what many of us suspect that the primary role of photography has shifted from commemorating special events and remembering family life, to a way of communicating to our peers, forming our own identity, and bolstering social bonds.
While older adults adopting digital cameras tend to use them as memory tools, younger generations tend to use the photos taken on them as a means of communication.
Logging our lives
Many times people are taking photos not to serve as a later memory cue, but rather to say this is how I’m feeling right here, right now. “Look at Instagram for example; users are taking those photos to communicate, rather than to remember.”
New technology has affected our ability to make memories because photography has gone from film to digital, as well the reasons we take pictures have changed “When it comes to an important experience to document, photography is definitely useful but for everyday life, it’s not quite there but rather give the right memory clues to trigger what someone wants to remember.”
Digital cameras may not only have changed the way we take pictures. We may have even changed the way we remember the experiences we record, thanks to social media.
Are you taking photos to remember the moment – or to mark where you were and how you felt? Memories are reconstructive. It’s certainly possible that reconstructing our memories to make them more in line with photos that we are taking, or with photos that others take and show to us.
Limit your photos
Similarly, though we are keeping our memories by editing photos, that’s not necessarily a bad thing but putting the camera down and drinking in our ambiance could be good for us
So how often should we take photos? Unless you’re a professional, I suggest limiting the amount of photos you allow yourself to take and to be more selective in order to get more of the benefits with fewer of the potential outlays.[related_posts]
“If you’re on vacation and enjoying some beautiful site, take a couple pictures and put the camera away and enjoy the site. “Later, go through them, organize them, print them out, and take the time to reminisce with other people. Those are all things that help keep memories alive.”
Ditch the over usage of cameras!
This blog was written by Shedrine Taremwa