Last year I visited the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia – one of the best art museums in the world. I was assured to serenely acquaintance its masterpieces, but my view was blocked by a wall of smart phones taking pictures of the paintings. And where I could find a bit of empty space, there were people taking selfies to create abiding memories of their visit.

For many people, taking hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures is now a acute part of going on anniversary – documenting every last detail and announcement it on social media. But how does that affect our actual memories of the past – and how we view ourselves? As an expert on memory, I was curious.

Unfortunately, cerebral analysis on the topic is so far scant. But we do know a few things. We use smart phones and new technologies as memory repositories. This is annihilation new – humans have always used alien accessories as an aid when accepting adeptness and remembering.

Writing absolutely serves this function. Historical annal are aggregate alien memories. Testimonies of migrations, adjustment or battles help entire nations trace a lineage, a past and an identity. In the life of an individual, accounting affidavit serve a agnate function.

Memory effects

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

This has austere consequences. Taking photos of an event rather than being absorbed in it has been shown to lead to poorer recall of the actual event – we get absent in the process.

Relying on photos to bethink has a agnate effect. Memory needs to be acclimatized on a approved basis in order to action well. There are many studies documenting the accent of memory retrieval convenance – for archetype in university students. Memory is and will remain capital for learning. There is indeed some affirmation assuming that committing almost all adeptness and memories to the cloud might hinder the adeptness to remember.