Social media and our memories

Social media and our memories

KIMT News 3 – Gadgets like smart phones and tablets are everywhere and it seems like people can’t keep their eyes from being glued to their screens.

Updating statuses, finding just the right ‘hashtag’ and many other components that go into daily use on social media are practically second nature, but at what cost?

Doctors across the pond and right here in southern Minnesota say it could come at the high price of your memories.

Linda Fites has been taking photos all her life but she says she prefers to post hers photos on the walls in her apartment rather than her wall on Facebook.

“I know that it’s progress,” Fites said, “all of these things are progress for knowledge and higher ways of doing things from the way they did them yesterday.”

Staying active isn’t a concern the Austin Packer Dance Team and for them, dance performances and competitions are the perfect backdrop for that perfect photo.

It takes seven steps to upload an Instagram photo, and during those seven steps, your head is down focused on your phone instead of what’s around you.

Madi Klein says that missing out on a few moments to document an event is all worth it in the end.

“After sections, if we make it to state, that’s like memories and stuff that you want to take pictures at,” she said.

So how much time are we spending posting and liking things?

According to research from Kliner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers report on Internet trends in 2013, more than 500 million photos are shared every day, which means people are not only snapping the picture wherever they are, but are taking the time to upload them to social media outlets.

On top of that, on average, people are checking their phones around 150 times a day and at that rate, it should come at no surprise that a smartphone user will spend two hours of their day on their devices.

However, being so logged into all of these devices and outlets, might be logging us out of normal brain functions.

“We’re more concerned and preoccupied with the technological aspect of recording it then what were actually trying to study or take in,” said Dr. Ronald Peterson, the Director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Research Center in Rochester.

A study was done in the United Kingdom looking at how distracting technology can be.

In the study, doctors asked one group of participants to go through a museum without their camera or smartphones and just observe the art around them.

The other group was asked to take photos of anything they thought was interesting and document it as best as they could.

This activity resulted in the individuals who were just observing the paintings, remembers more details about the art than those who had their phones out the whole time.

Not remembering details of paintings might not sound horrible, but it’s an example of what certain events could look like in your memory down the road.

The Austin Packer Dance Team says, they don’t buy it.

One dancer said their peers will bother them about how many photos they take at invitationals, competitions and performances, but they all plan to carry on with exactly what they’re doing.

As for Linda, she says these photographs help keep her memory strong and that spending an afternoon going through her photos is like taking a walk down memory lane.

On Tuesday, Facebook celebrated its 10th birthday, which might be hard to believe since we’ve become so used to having it as a way to socialize, but things are changing with technology and social media sites all the time and there’s no doubt, something new will be coming out soon to continue this ongoing distraction.

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