YOUNG adults are hoarding a combined 10billion photos on their smartphones, according to research.
The study of 2,000 adults found younger generations are more concerned about forgetting memories and events than any other age group, with over a third claiming it’s why they don’t delete their images.
Similarly, more than a third of 18 to 24-year-olds have been more conscious of preserving their memories since the arrival of the pandemic.
A whopping 97 per cent of all adults surveyed admitted they keep old photos tucked away in online cloud services – with the average person only returning to view old images once a month.
That’s despite claiming looking at old images makes them feel more positive (50 per cent), calmer (24 per cent) and loved (21 per cent).
With an additional third of people saying looking at past memories helps to brighten their day.
The research was commissioned by Fujifilm, which is encouraging people to unlock hidden memories trapped inside their cameras.
Daria Kuss, an Associate Psychologist at Nottingham Trent University, said: “The pandemic has undoubtedly affected the way we interact with technology, with more of us using it to support our everyday lives in various ways.
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“This research shows that it’s the younger generation who feel most concerned about the effect of the pandemic on their memories and so are using technology – specifically their phones – to capture and hoard images to help them preserve everyday moments.
“Photographs come with emotional ties and they can transport us back to a moment in time, which can have a positive impact on our mental wellbeing.
“Image hoarding doesn’t allow us to reap these benefits though.
"Instead, I would recommend displaying photos around the house, and viewing the images you have stored regularly, as this research has showed that looking at your photos makes you feel more positive, calmer and loved.”
While younger adults may be the worst culprits for image-hoarding, they’re not the only ones guilty of racking up pictures in their camera rolls.
And more than three quarters of all those polled regularly use their smart phone to take pictures, with 77 per cent agreeing phone cameras help them capture life’s most important moments.
It also emerged women are far less likely to delete old photos than men, of which nearly a quarter claimed they have no problem deleting old pictures.
Men were also more likely to delete photos of pets, holidays and photos of family and friends when compared with the females surveyed.
Image hoarding is also affecting finances, with 12 per cent of working adults confessing they’re spending up to £5 every month on additional phone storage to help make space on cluttered phones – a whopping £300 million spent annually.
Seven out of 10 adults also confessed to transferring old images onto new smartphone devices, without filtering or organising, adding to the country’s growing image hoarding problem.
The survey also revealed nearly one in five are storing photos that are at least a decade old, with those in East Anglia, London and the East Midlands the worst offenders, according to the OnePoll.com figures.
Theo Georghiades, general manager at Fujifilm, added: “We want to encourage everyone to live and re-live life’s best moments through photography, regardless of whether that’s on your smartphone, a digital or an instant camera.
“What our latest research shows is that, whilst we are pretty good at capturing our memories, we aren’t always that great at making the most of them afterwards and are letting them sit forgotten for months and in some cases, for years on end.
“Our mission is to help everyone remember and most importantly enjoy, those precious memories by unlocking them with printing.
“Not only is a great and easy way to free up some storage on your smartphone, it also allows you to enjoy those sentimental snaps every single day – which we know from our research can has a positive impact on people’s mood and wellbeing.”
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