You may eye-roll the friend who constantly Instagrams their lunch/shoes/kewl street graffiti, but turns out they are actually having the last laugh.
The research, conducted by the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
It conclusively showed that taking photographs heightens people’s feelings surrounding an experience.
Associate Professor of Marketing, Kristin Diehl, told Time magazine: “You hear that you shouldn’t take all these photos and interrupt the experience, and it’s bad for you and we’re not living in the present moment.”
But that seems not to be the case.
According to Diehl this is the first study of it’s kind to investigate how taking photos changes experiences.
They sent 2,000 subjects on a variety of activities, including museums, safari, bus tours and of course, eating out at restaurants.
Half were told not to take any photographs, whilst the other 50% were actively encouraged to get snapping and they always ended up having a better time than non-photographers.
Diehl explained the findings: “What we find is that you actually look at the world slightly differently because you’re looking for things you want to capture, that you may want to hang on to.”
Taking photos increases engagement with the activity and then heightens the feelings around it.
In museums, participants spent longer reading exhibits and engaged more with the overall experience, because they wanted to find something worth clicking the shutter for.
But be warned this doesn’t give us license to be constantly attached to our iPhones or missing out on real-time experiences like gigs and stargazing which almost always look crap in photos.
Diehl says the key to getting the most out of the experience is actively choosing the elements you want to photograph and remember.
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