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“With parents flooding their camera phones with hundreds of photos — from loose teeth to hissy fits to each step in the potty training process — how might the ubiquity of photos change childhood memories?
Maryanne Garry, a psychology professor at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, is trying to figure that out. For years, she’s studied the effects of photography on our childhood memories.
“I think that the problem is that people are giving away being in the moment,” she says.
Those parents at the park taking all those photos are actually paying less attention to the moment, she says, because they’re focused on the act of taking the photo.
“Then they’ve got a thousand photos, and then they just dump the photos somewhere and don’t really look at them very much, ’cause it’s too difficult to tag them and organize them,” she says. “That seems to me to be a kind of loss.”