New research has been published that claims taking photographs of events rather than paying attention to them hinders our ability to remember the actual event. The researchers call this the "photo-taking impairment effect." It's hard to go to any event where people aren't focused on their camera or smartphone, shooting video or photos.
According to the study, taking those videos or photos rather than focusing on the event is preventing memories of the event from taking hold. I guess this explains why you can look at a photo from a party of event and not recall taking it.
Dr. Linda Henkel from Fairfield University in Connecticut is the scientist that named the phenomenon the "photo-taking impairment effect." The researcher says this dependence on digital devices to remember events for us is keeping us from fully remembering the things we experience.
The team of researchers used an experiment in a museum for their research. One group of university students were led on a tour at the Bellarmine Museum of Art at the university and asked to either take photos of objects or to try to remember the objects on display. The next day their memory of the event was tested and researchers found that those that took photographs were less accurate in their recollections than those that had only looked at the art.