- Selfie taking on
smartphones is a common pastime amongst students
- Persons taking
smiling selfies daily became more confident over time.
- Snapping selfies
and sharing with friends and relatives elevates mood and linked to
- Making others happy
by sharing pictures has a calming effect on the person sharing.
- Students clicking selfies may experience
relief from stress caused by being away from home, feelings of isolation,
academic demands and financial difficulties.
As a Possible Stress Buster
clicking selfies on our smartphone and sharing pictures with friends can help
make us happier, and relieve our stress, according to computer scientists at
the University of California, Irvine. In a first-of-its-kind study released
just before 'back-to-school' season, the authors found that students could
overcome daily blues with a few simple, deliberate actions on their mobile
conducting simple exercises using smartphone photo technology and analyzing users'
psychological and emotional state, the researchers found that photographing and
sharing of certain types of images everyday can positively affect people. The
results of the study conducted by UCI's Donald Bren School of Information &
Computer Sciences were recently published in the Psychology of Well-Being.
‘Selfie taking – modern day stress buster amongst students.’
research showed that practicing exercises that can promote happiness via
picture taking and sharing can lead to increased positive
feelings for those who engage in it," said lead author Yu Chen, a postdoctoral
scholar in UCI's Department of Informatics. "This is particularly useful
information for returning college students to be aware of, since they face many
sources of pressure."
sources of stress in a college students life include the loneliness of being
away from home,
family and friends. Additionally, financial difficulties, demands of college
work and feelings of isolation could further add to the stress and may
negatively impact their health and academic
Aim of the Study
The purpose of the study, Chen said, was to help
scientists understand the positive effects of photo taking on general
well-being and mood of people in three distinct areas namely
Details of the Study
in which people altered positive facial expressions
involving things they did to make themselves happy
in which they did things to make others happy
a four-week study involving 41 college
s, Chen and her colleagues designed and conducted various exercises
to gauge the effects of photo taking and sharing. The students, 28 female and
13 male, were instructed to carry on their routine day-to-day activities such
as attending class, doing their schoolwork, and meeting with friends, while
taking part in the study.
the study, each student was invited to the Computer lab for an informal
interview and to fill out a general questionnaire and consent form. The
scientists then helped the students to load a survey app onto their phones
that would record their moods during the first
of the study.
students used a different App to take pictures and recorded their emotional
states over the following three-week
students reported their moods thrice a day using the smartphone apps. In evening
surveys, they were asked to share details of happenings during the course of
the day that could have significantly impacted their emotions.
trial involved three types of photos
that would help the researchers determine how smiling, reflecting and sharing
with others might affect users' moods
- The first was a
smiling selfie, to be taken daily.
- The second was a
photo of an object that made the photo
- The third was a
picture of something the person thought would cause happiness to another
person (which was then shared with that person).
- Participants were
randomly selected to click photos of any one of the above three types.
gathered data from nearly 2,900 mood measurements during the study and found
that subjects in all three groups
experienced enhanced positive moods
. Some participants in the selfie group
reported that they became more confident
with their smiling photos over time. The students taking
photos of objects that made them happy became more reflective and appreciative.
And those who took photos to make
others happy became calmer and said that the connection to their friends and
family helped relieve stress
Takeaway from the Study
the widespread notion that smartphones have a negative impact on its users as well as
those around them, this study attempts to demonstrate that smartphones
may indeed have a positive role to play in persons using it.
good news is that despite their susceptibility to strain, most college students
around a mobile device, which can be used for stress relief," Chen said. "Added
to that are
many applications and social media tools that make it easy to produce and send
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," said senior author
Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics. "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
conclude with a note of caution, it may be well to remember that anything in
excess is harmful, and usage of smartphones too must be limited to the extent
that its benefits outweigh the health risks and other ill-effects caused.
Technology used in moderation can be certainly beneficial.