Selfies usually get quite a bad rep and for good reason.
But for any selfie-lovers out there who can’t go an hour without posting to Snapchat, we finally have some pretty better news for you.
According to a new study taking photos of yourself on a daily basis may well be the secret to increased happiness.
Psychologists at the University of California, Irvine investigated whether technology could improve the morale of university students, in particular, whether if snapping photos of themselves on their smartphones could relieve stress.
They studied 41 students (28 females and 13 males) as they went about their usual school routine, including going to class and doing homework.
In the first week students were asked to document their mood three times a day, with an accompanying event which may have influenced how they felt.
Then over the next three weeks the students were instructed to take photos when they recorded these moods.
They were then randomly assigned a group that took one of three types of photos. A selfie in which they were smiling, a photo of something that made them happy and a picture of something that would make another person happy- which was sent to that individual.
Their findings published in the journal of Psychology of Well-Being found that the selfie group reported becoming more confident and comfortable with themselves over time.
In a statement, senior author Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at UC Irvine, said:
You see a lot of reports in the media about the negative impacts of technology use, and we look very carefully at these issues here at UCI. But there have been expanded efforts over the past decade to study what’s become known as ‘positive computing,’ and I think this study shows that sometimes our gadgets can offer benefits to users.
Despite being a relatively small study, it’s a rather encouraging insight into technology and how it can positively effect our mental health.