Mixbook Survey: The states that phlush away the most memories

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Mixbook recently published the results of a survey of smartphone users determining how consumers use their digital photos. With the ease of digital photography and nearly unlimited storage, people are capturing more than a trillion images worldwide. Sadly, many of those images are viewed once and never looked at or printed again, a phenomenon Mixbook calls “phlushing.”

To learn more about the digital dust Americans accumulate, Mixbook surveyed 1,967 smartphone owners about the pictures and videos in their camera roll. Read on to find out more about the precious memories that are just taking space on Americans’ devices and what they do with images that do make it out in the world.

Key Takeaways

  • States who phlush away memories most are Indiana, California, and Mississippi.

  • A majority of people (80%) have pictures or videos on their phones that they haven’t looked at since the day they took them.

  • The number of photos or videos they have on their phone overwhelms 55% of people.

  • People have on average 3,139 pictures and videos on their phone.

  • Half of the respondents say they do nothing with the photos and videos they take on their phones.

States That Phlush Away Memories Most

Across the nation, the comany found the U.S. states most likely to phlush away their memories by never looking back on the pictures they take were Indiana, California, and Mississippi.

The Memories That Makeup American’s Camera Roll

To learn more about the photos Americans take, Mixbook asked respondents to tell us what most of the photos on their phones are about, selecting one of nine categories: family, food, friends, information, kids, partner, pets, scenery, and themselves. Spoiler alert, the majority of Americans used their phones to take photos of their pets.

Mixbook was also curious about what photos dominated the camera roll of different demographics. They found, while most of the nation took photos of their pets (21%), parents had mainly photos of their kids (34%), and non-pet owners with no kids had mainly photos of scenery (26%) in their camera roll.

Duplicate photos of almost the same thing are also common, 63% of people say they take multiple pictures of the same thing and don’t narrow down and delete the rest.

50% of Americans do nothing with their photos and videos

Every photo is a moment frozen in time, a memory that you initially wanted to hold onto forever since you took the time to take it. Many people, however, forget that importance and end up viewing a good chunk of their camera roll as unimportant. In fact, 58% say only 50% or less of the pictures and videos in their camera roll are so important and they would be genuinely upset to lose them.

Curious about what Americans do with the images they do value, we found, on average, Americans haven’t looked at 55% of their camera roll in the last year, and they only rarely look back on photos or videos taken a year ago or later.

Mixbook was shocked to find out that 50% of Americans reported doing nothing with the photos and videos they take on their phone, and 54% have seen none or very few of the pictures and videos outside the context of their phone.


From May 2, 2023, to May 8, 2023, Mixbook surveyed 1,967 Americans about the photos and videos on their phone. Mixbook surveyed residents in all U.S. states except Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Delaware, Vermont, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska and Wyoming, due to insufficient data. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 76 years old, and were 50% female, 48% male and 2% nonbinary.