Selfies And Happiness

Why Is This Important?

Because selfies get a bad rap.

Long Story Short

Researchers have found three simple ways to use your smartphone that will actually make you happier – and taking regular selfies is one of them.

Long Story

Smartphones are often blamed for many of modern society’s ills – for encouraging us to ignore our partners (also known as ‘phubbing’), for lowering the sperm count in men, for the decline of our memories…

But, of course, we wouldn’t use our smartphones if we didn’t think they offered us some kind of benefit. And now researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have found three ways to actually boost our happiness by using our smartphones.

The study, led by Yu Chen, of UCI’s Department of Informatics, surveyed 41 students over four weeks. The subjects were each assigned one type of photo to take every day: either a photo of something that made them happy, a photo that they thought would make someone else happy (which they then sent to them), or a selfie of themselves smiling. They were also asked to record their mood throughout the day.

The researchers found that all of the subjects became happier in different ways. The people who took photos of objects became more reflective and appreciative. Those who sent photos to other people became calmer and less stressed. And some of the people who took selfies said that they felt more confident and comfortable with their photos.

Chen says that this affects well-being in three different areas: self-efficacy (i.e. making yourself happy), prosocial (making other people happy) and self-perception (seeing yourself as happy).

The researchers, however, did not look into the effects of posting your selfies to social media every damn day

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