Science now has an explanation for why we’re obsessed with Snapchatting our every move: it makes us feel, well, happier. A study conducted out of the University of Michigan found that interactions on Snapchat are associated with an increase in “social enjoyment and positive mood” compared to other social media use, like Facebook.
It’s not hard to pinpoint why Snapchat ends up being far superior to other social media platforms in terms of pure joy. It combines all of our favorite things: pictures, filters, and emojis. Plus, the quick back-and-forths and real-time updates are constant sources of entertainment. The fleeting nature of it all means it never gets boring.
The study itself observed 154 undergrads to get these findings, but the point of the research was actually a little more nuanced. Joseph Bayer, the lead study author, told the Huffington Post:
Snapchat is an advocate for the little things in life, and with every snap we open we’re reminded just how much they matter. Plus, Snapchat is a little more personal. There’s a smaller audience versus a mega-platform like Instagram, but it’s this intimacy that makes the moments shared that much more special.
There’s also less pressure associated with shared moments on Snapchat. As researchers explain in the study published in the journal Communication and Society:
“Since Facebook has become a space for sharing crafted big moments such as babies, graduations and birthdays, Snapchat seems to provide users with a distinct space for sharing the small moments.”
And those small moments are less “self-presentational.” In other words, users seemed to care less about appearing “perfect” or even “conceited” on Snapchat compared to Facebook, where each post seems to take on more significance. So, basically, the ephemeral nature of Snapchat just makes the whole experience more about pleasure and less about pressure.
So don’t feel bad the next time you stop to Snapchat the roses—it’s good for your mental health. Well, at least, that’s what we’re going to tell ourselves from now on.
(Image via Snapchat)