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Why recording moments ruins the memory

Onlookers record a musician in the middle of his concert, robbing the moment of a memory (via Today®)

The most frustrating thing in the world is watching people record moments on their phones, effectively ruining the memory that can be created. Whether it’s at a concert, sport game, or wedding, this simple grab-and-record maneuver has caused controversy across the world.

For example, imagine you’re on your honeymoon, and your significant other starts vlogging the day to update their social media pages. That’s exactly what a couple in the Maldives did. Or picture one of the best basketball players breaking an incredible record—yet his kids are mere feet away from him, recording the moment on their phones instead of actually witnessing their father make history.

Sons of Lebron James, Lebron James Jr. and Bryce James, record their father setting the new point record in the NBA

This modern-age technology has worsened to the point that at some concerts, artists such as Jack White and Alicia Keys are banning phones from entering stadiums. In order to create a “100% human experience,” these musicians are requiring security to lock up the phones in boxes before the guests enter the arena, proving just how much this dilemma is frustrating society—and not just me.

How about we take it to an even greater extreme? As a man looked death in the eyes, he weighed his options and thought it wouldn’t be smart to try to survive or look for help, but rather record his final moments on his camera (A Defining Question in an iPhone Age: Live for the Moment or Record It?)

As Scott Welch looked death in the eyes on this airplane, he decided to whip out his phone and record—before thinking of his survival (via Jukin Media)

According to the article “What smartphone photography is doing to our memories,” it is evident that this age of recording has quite a negative effect on our psychology: “As with many topics in psychology, there are currently more questions than answers on this. But in many cases, scientists are finding that constant photo taking actually diminishes our ability to recall our experiences, diverts our attention, and takes us out of the moment”

Although there are a lot of benefits to capturing moments on our phones—perhaps, if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience or something you never want to forget—recording events on your phone can not only ruin your own mind’s memories, but the people’s around you. So next time you reach for your pocket to record anything, think about the effect it can have on you and others.


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