Posting Daily, Mindful Photos Can Improve Wellbeing

Photo-sharing social media apps have become ingrained into our everyday culture. While some view the phenomenon with overwhelm, and possibly some eye-rolling, new research has suggested that the act of sharing an image with followers every day can have some surprising benefits. Social media, in general, has been met with skepticism and claims that people are more unhappy than ever because of it. But the science is more of a mixed bag.

Researchers from the Lancaster University and the University of Sheffield published a study in Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine that showed a surprising link between photo-sharing and improvements in wellbeing. For two months, they recorded the types of photos, and the nature of the accompanying text, users posted on popular photo-a-day site Blipfoto. They found users experienced benefits in three key realms: self-care, community interaction and the ability to reminisce on happy memories later.

Participants were observed making note of how the activity increased mindfulness, or being able to look at life through a different lens and take a moment to enjoy the ride. The act of sharing also increased a sense of community connection – whether through sharing of positive experiences or hardships.

It is also noteworthy that people who have retired from their careers reported having a renewed sense of community through social media that they missed from working every day. And, lastly, the ability to look back at a digital scrapbook was healing for many people. One participant said, according to Science Daily, “If I’m ever feeling down or something it’s nice to be able to scroll back and see good memories.”

In a day and age where uncertainty can hit people hard, the researchers claim that posting photos can create “an active process of meaning making.” In a way, creating a visual record of daily experiences – one that others can see, relate to, and comment upon – is a form of making sense of the world and our place in it.

The essence of building community and restoring important inner peace and happiness through self care are still essential human needs – it appears that just the medium, over time, has changed.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

38 comments

Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Noted.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R1 months ago

Thank you for posting.

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Carole R
Carole R1 months ago

I agree the sharing can be beneficial for many people.

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Winn A
Winnie A1 months ago

Thanks

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Winn A
Winnie A1 months ago

Noted

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Edith B
Edith B1 months ago

Thanks

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Chad A
Chad Anderson1 months ago

Nice.

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