The more selfies you share on instagram the happier you are?
A recent study found that people who actively share selfies (photos of themselves) on Instagram show greater satisfaction with their lives than those who don’t.
The results, published in Human Behavior and technology, show a correlation between people’s happiness and receiving social rewards like likes and positive comments.
Study author Julie Maclean argues that social media has become an important factor regarding the psychological and emotional aspects of the individual; past research has revealed conflicting results relating to the relationship between the use of social networks and perceived well-being.
The study in question publicized a survey on different social media platforms, asking questions to investigate factors such as: sharing photos, likes, comments and satisfaction with one’s life. Overall, 373 responses were collected from users who actively share photos on Instagram; 22.6% of the responses came from men and 77.1% from women. One person refused to provide gender information. About 73% of respondents were under 25; according to the authors, the sample is in line with the demographics of Instagram users.
The results showed a positive correlation between the number of selfies shared online and perceived well-being.
Greater satisfaction with their lives has also been seen in people who have received positive social rewards like me and positive comments about their selfies.
In addition, perceived well-being does not diminish when a person’s photo receives negative comments and / or few likes. Based on the results, the authors conclude that positive and negative social rewards affect a person’s well-being differently.
The authors recognized several limitations of the study. Responses were collected only from users who actively shared photos. This has excluded users who share videos or users who passively publish photos. In addition, the photo sharing history was self-reported, which could have led some users to incorrectly remember the information. Furthermore, it cannot be excluded that those who are very active on social networks by posting photos and commenting, do so because they already feel satisfied for their life, and therefore their happiness does not depend on the likes of a photo but on external factors and unrelated to the social network.
Despite the limitations, the authors suggest that the data could help improve future developments for social media platforms.
The researchers conclude by saying that, in the future, social networks should take advantage of the concept of social rewards to allow an increase in the levels of online interactions with a particular focus on photo sharing, since it seems to be the factor that most acts as a social prize.