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Photos Make the Moment More Enjoyable


Annoyed family members and friends have probably told us, at some point or the other, that we should enjoy the moment rather than kill it by taking an endless streams of photos. Our mobile phones have effectively become photo cameras that also allow us to talk. We are surrounded by people that snap photos of views and of themselves all the time. Don’t like it? Bad news. Researchers at the Marshall School of Business, of the University of Southern California, have concluded that shooting Instagram-worthy pictures constantly actually makes you enjoy the experience more. In one experiment, two groups were sent on double decker bus tour of Philadelphia. One group was told to enjoy the moment without taking photos, whereas the other one was requested shoot pictures along the way. The second group, that kept snapping up the moments in the digital cameras they were given, reported more happiness. The same happened with groups asked to do the same at lunch. The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Perhaps it’s not that surprising. Possibly our ancestors enjoyed the moment twice when they drew hunting scenes on cave walls. We all feel the urge to portray our surroundings. Modern devices have enabled, with magnificent fidelity, what mankind tried to emulate for centuries (and thanks to which the past has endowed us so many great works of art). But what we really regret is not only the selfie, which at worst is self-inflicted harm without causing any physical injury. Selfie sticks, however, are a different story. They are here to stay, we are afraid, for a long time.

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