Posting selfies makes you happier, a study says.
Not a while ago, the internet was filled with articles and studies that suggested social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram were not so great for personal well-being, as well as pointed out the correlation with the time spent on these social media and increased depression and loneliness. However, as a new case study states, people who actively share selfies on Instagram may have a higher satisfaction level with life. The study “Instagram photo sharing and its relationships with social rewards and well-being” was conducted by Julie Maclean, Yeslam Al-Saggaf, and Rachel Hogg, and published in Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies.
“Social media technology has become a key influencer of psychological aspects of human emotions, such as well-being… Past research has revealed mixed findings relating to the relationship between the use of [Social Networking Sites] and well-being,” claims Julie Maclean and colleagues.
From a survey advertised on various social media platforms, the researches collected 373 responses and recorded information regarding well-being as defined by how much a person believes they are happy with their life. Coming from users that actively shared on Instagram, 22.6% of responses were from men, 77.1% from women, with one person declining to provide gender information, and about 73% of respondents were younger than 25-years-old (aligning with Instagram’s user demographics). Results showed a positive link between selfies shared and well-being, however that link was undetectable when it came to other images. Worth pointing out, a greater number of likes and comments did lead to more happiness, but negative comments and fewer likes did not affect well-being.
Julie Maclean, Yeslam Al-Saggaf, and Rachel Hogg, however, do acknowledge some limitations to their study, including the exclusion of video sharing and self-reporting, and end the study by stating: “Future [Social Networking Sites] technology enhancements should leverage the social rewards concept to allow increased levels of online interactions from photo sharing, particularly in relation to sharing photos of oneself, which seem to correlate with the highest levels of social rewards.”