If you are into Snapchat, you've likely already experienced just how, well, happy it makes you feel. And, while it may seem strange that something as simple as sending and receiving snaps could be a mood-booster, science has now pinpointed why we find ourselves smiling at the sight of a new snap.
In a recent study conducted at the University of Michigan, scientists found that interactions on Snapchat are often associated with an increase in "social enjoyment and positive mood" when compared with other social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.
Why is that, you ask? Turns out, the answer is fairly simple: When it comes to experiencing feelings of happiness and joy, Snapchat gets it right in that it combines our favorite things into one social experience. Not only are there pictures, filters, and emojis, but the rate of communication is quick, meaning users can chat back-and-forth in real-time.
In proving this theory, Joseph Bayer, the lead study author, had originally set out to study how "even the ‘small moments’ of daily life can matter online, and that the way in which new technologies ‘manipulate’ time provides different forms of social experiences that we are just beginning to understand," he told the Huffington Post. Instead, while gathering data on 154 undergrads, he and his team realized some things about Snapchat that they hadn't anticipated.
First, Snapchat offers users a more intimate experience when compared to mega-platforms, like Instagram and Facebook. Because there is a smaller audience, the study says that Snapchat advocates for the little things in life and makes interactions feel more personal and special.
And, in addition to more personal interactions, the study, which was published in the journal of Communication and Society, says that Snapchat users also feel less obligated to share posts. Not only that, but users also feel much more comfortable sharing smaller life moments (such as a coffee date or a pic of their breakfast) on Snapchat than they would on Facebook, which has recently become a platform for sharing bigger life milestones, such as weddings and birthdays.
So, go on. Snap away. As far as we're concerned, if Snapchat is proven to up our happiness, we're going to start snapping (and smiling) more often.