Our phones can be helpful — think of the last time you needed directions or set a reminder for something you’d easily forget. Yet devices can also cause strain in your relationships, impact your memory, and stand in the way of some of the most significant moments of our lives — especially when you choose to take photos. “When you take a photo of something, you’re counting on the camera to remember for you,” Linda Henkel, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Fairfield University, told TED.

The next time you are faced with an exciting event or something you simply want to remember, ask yourself this one question: Will I be grateful one year from now that I have this memory stored on my device?

If the answer is yes, snap in moderation.

If the answer is no, put your phone back in your pocket and make a conscious effort to live in the moment.

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  • Jessica Hicks

    Managing Editor at Thrive

    Jessica Hicks is a managing editor at Thrive. She graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in journalism, sociology, and anthropology, and is passionate about using storytelling to ignite positive change in the lives of others.