If you find yourself staring into the Grand Canyon, skip the Instagram post. People who share their experiences on social media form hazier memories than those who put down the phone, suggests a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Researchers sent 129 people to tour a church on the Stanford University campus. Some took pictures to post on social media, while others simply visited. A week later, they were asked to write down everything they remembered about the building. Counterintuitively, those who snapped images recalled fewer details of the place.
One possible reason? Taking photos for social media cues people to think superficially about what they’re seeing—such as wondering how many likes a photo will garner—rather than let them be fully present to make memories. Another reason: Walking, absorbing information, and snapping pics require multitasking. So do as your parents did and snap one photo—then just take it all in.
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