Study Proves That You Won’t Remember A Concert If You’re Filming It With Your Phone

We say this, but now, the science is in…

Put your damn phone down.

Linda Henkel, a professor of psychology at Fairfield University in Connecticut, studied the relationship between taking photos, experiencing something in the moment, and your memory of the event, by taking a group of students through to an art museum. Some of the pieces they were to simply observe and take in in the moment, others, they were asked to photograph.

The next day, she quizzed the student on the pieces they saw. The result proved, overwhelmingly that people remembered fewer of the objects they had photographed. They also couldn’t recall as many specific details of the pieces, when compared to the art they just observed.

“When you take a photo of something, you’re counting on the camera to remember for you,” Henkel said. “You’re basically saying, ‘Okay, I don’t need to think about this any further. The camera’s captured the experience.’ You don’t engage in any of the elaborative or emotional kinds of processing that really would help you remember those experiences, because you’ve outsourced it to your camera.”

We go to so many shows and we’re constantly blown away at how many people feel the need to watch the entire set through their smartphone video recorder. You’re never going to watch that again.

Henkel agrees saying, “we’re so busy capturing photos that afterwards we don’t actually look at them.”

On the one hand, we do get a lot of content from people that are filming shows, and we thank you all for that, but on the other, we also really encourage people to put the phones down and live in the moment. Kip Moore has been very vocal about this and Jack White has gone as far to even ban them at his shows.

Kip has also been known to (in a comical way) take fans phones away from them during a show.