What is Camnesia?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

There's a reason why the world is not overrun with pictures of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, UFOs or your cousin Jim's first birthday party, and that reason is known as camnesia. Camnesia is a condition in which a person either forgets to takes pictures at a once-in-a-lifetime moment, or else forgets to bring a camera at all. Many sufferers have a flare-up of camnesia around the time of weddings, honeymoons, exotic vacations, paranormal events and family reunions.

Many sufferers have a flare-up of camnesia around the time of exotic vacations.
Many sufferers have a flare-up of camnesia around the time of exotic vacations.

Some people have been known to take extraordinary steps to prevent camnesia, which generally end in leaving more than one camera behind at a hotel or stuffed comfortably in a car's glove compartment. Others may invest heavily in disposable or single-use cameras, only to discover how truly disposable these no-use cameras can actually be.

Being the designated photographer for a family vacation can sometimes put some distance between the photo-taker and the event.
Being the designated photographer for a family vacation can sometimes put some distance between the photo-taker and the event.

Being the designated photojournalist for a family vacation or a class reunion can sometimes put some distance between the documentarian and the event, so it is not unusual for someone to set down his or her camera in favor of actual participation. Forgetting to retrieve and use a camera can be an understandable if unfortunate result of getting caught up in a moment. Many camnesia sufferers only realize their ailment after the fact, which often leads to anguished cries of "Why didn't I think to bring my camera?" or "I can't believe I left the camera in the car!"

There are any number of routine or uneventful occasions in which carrying a camera may seem counter intuitive, but the worst cases of camnesia often occur during events which fairly cry out for posterity, such as a child's "firsts," a sibling's wedding or an encounter with a celebrity. Many modern wedding receptions include the presentation of disposable cameras in order for guests to record their own candid shots.

Camnesia can often be seen in the company of walletnesia, mapnesia and ticketnesia, all common but essential items which are often forgotten at critical moments in time. While camnesia may rank high on the frustration scale, there are worse things than not having certain embarrassing moments captured on film for all eternity. Sometimes camnesia can be a blessing in disguise.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

anon953025

With all of these new smartphones with cameras, I think camnesia wil soon be a thing of the past. Even if I don't think to take my own smartphone out, somebody else probably will.

anon23302

Don't forget audianesia--forgetting to turn the recorder on or to bring it....

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: