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 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,” 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.”