A selfie a day keeps the doctor away. A new study published in the journal Health found that taking a photo (any photo) every day and sharing it online improves your well-being.
Researchers surveyed subjects on their social media habits. They found that snapping and sharing wasn’t simply an exercise in narcissism, but an act of self-care. Taking the photo encouraged mindfulness, while the sharing promoted social interaction.
“I’ll stop and take a photograph of this insect sitting on my computer or something. Just taking a moment is very salutary I think,” one participant tells scientists at the UK’s Lancaster University and University of Sheffield.
Looking at photos gives the subjects a sense of purpose, and planning to take them was a motivational force, the researchers say.
“It encourages me out of the house sometimes when I could just sit on my backside with a cup of tea,” another participant says.
On the social side, comments kept people connected with their friends and family, and even helped some combat loneliness.
Researchers concluded in a press release that posting photos online is “an active process of meaning making.”