Selfies are often seen as a negative, narcissistic trend, but could it actually be good for your health to take and post pictures of yourself?
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have found that taking and sharing selfies can have a positive effect on your mood – so long as they are happy, smiling photos.
The study followed 41 college students over four weeks in order to document their moods. Each student was given a smartphone app to track their moods three times a day before being split into three groups. One group were told to take a smiling selfie, the next to take a picture of something that made them happy, while the third group were asked to take a picture of something that would make someone else happy and send it to them.
All three groups showed an improvement in their moods over time, but the group who took the smiling selfies revealed that they felt more “mindful, reflective, and appreciative.” Those who sent pictures to others said they felt more connected to that person as well as feeling calmer overall.
But that’s not all!
The selfie-taking group also reported that they even felt more confident, with one saying:
“As days went on, I got more comfortable taking photos of myself. If you feel good about yourself, then [a] selfie would be a way to capture that.”
While the study was only on a small scale, and would need more research to be conclusive, the signs are good for selfies!
As Professor of Informatics, Gloria Mark observed:
“You see a lot of reports in the media about the negative impacts of technology use. … I think this study shows that sometimes our gadgets can offer benefits to users.”
Boosting your self-confidence, feeling calmer, and even more connected with your friends and families – it seems that selfies can be positive after all!
Photo Credit: Absolute Geeks / Bayside Journal / NextWeb / Selfie Mirror Sticker