Last year I visited the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia – one of the best art museums in the world.

I was expecting to serenely experience its masterpieces, but my view was blocked by a wall of smart phones taking pictures of the paintings.

And where I could find a bit of empty space, there were people taking selfies to create lasting memories of their visit.

For many people, taking hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures is now a crucial part of going on holiday – documenting every last detail and posting it on social media.

But how does that affect our actual memories of the past – and how we view ourselves?

Unfortunately, psychological research on the topic is so far scant.

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