Taylor Swift fans are reporting “post-concert amnesia” on social media.
“I know I was there but it feels like it was a dream,” Swiftie wrote.
Too much excitement can trick the brain into thinking it’s in trouble, one expert said.
“Hold on to the memories, they’ll hold you,” sings Taylor Swift.
But for some Swifties, it’s become hard to hold onto memories of her Eras Tour. Fans come forward to admit they suffer from “post-concert amnesia.”
It was like “an out-of-body experience, like it didn’t really happen to me,” Gettysburg fan Nicole Booz told Time.
“Yet I know it was because my bank account took a $950 hit to cover the ticket,” she said.
Others have taken to Reddit to share their guilt over not being able to remember the pivotal moments of Swift’s concert, with some saying they almost felt like they were distancing themselves from the experience.
“I went to the show in Arlington a few weeks ago and I honestly don’t remember most of the concert,” one Swiftie wrote on Reddit. “I know I was there but it feels like it was a dream,” added another.
Swift is two months into her 52-stop blockbuster Eras Tour. The singer covers 44 songs from all 10 of her studio albums during a three-hour showcase.
“Post-concert amnesia is real,” New Yorker Jenna Tocatlian told Time.
Tocatlian told Time that she had even forgotten one of Swift’s “surprise songs” that she had most hoped would appear.
“If I didn’t have the 5-minute video my friend kindly made to jam to it, I probably would have told everyone it didn’t happen,” Tocatlian said.
Too much excitement may be the culprit
This is not a Swift specific event. Social media is full of stories from fans who can’t remember specific details of important concerts.
Ewan McNay, an associate professor of psychology at New York State University, told Time that this state can come on at any time when you’re faced with an emotionally charged situation.
For example, people often forget their first dance at a wedding, she said.
This may be because the body misinterprets the signs of arousal. Jumping up and down, screaming, crying can be confused with a fight-or-flight situation.
“You’re like, ‘Hey, we’re really stressed: We’re running from the bear, or we’re watching Taylor Swift,'” McNay said.
Another explanation is that fans flood their brains with too many chemicals. Neurons then begin firing indiscriminately. making it “really hard” to create new memories, McNay said.
For those who want to be emotionally present more of the concert, there are strategies to enhance memories of the event.
Fans can try to self-soothe during the event, practice mindful meditation to focus on being present, and try to limit their emotional reactions like yelling or jumping up and down, McNay said.
However, whether or not fans can remember the specific details of the concert kind of misses the point, Robert Kraft, a professor of cognitive psychology at Otterbein University in Westerville, wrote in a Psychology Today post.
“The most common reason we forget is that we focus on experiencing the world, not remembering it,” he wrote.
For him, apart from specific events that rely on remembering specific details, such as exams, brains are not usually wired to record memories like a camera.
“For a major musical event, we spend a lot of money on tickets and have a high level of anticipation,” he wrote.
“But if we put too much emphasis on memory, our expectations for remembering will be too high — and we will be disappointed,” he wrote.
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