Most people love sharing their photos online, but a recent study has found that doing so could be improving more than just your follower count. Published by the respected journal Health in April 2018, scientists Liz Brewster of Lancaster University and Andrew Cox of the University of Sheffield released their findings in a study titled, The daily digital practice as a form of self-care: Using photography for everyday well-being.
The scientists worked with participants ranging from 20 to 60 years old with their subjects capturing and sharing a photo everyday to photography-based online communities such as Instagram, Flickr, and Blipfoto. Over the course of two months, the scientists logged the photographers' images, captions and the types of interactions they had with their followers and the wider community.
After conducting interviews with the participants, the two scientists found an array of evidence that suggests sharing a photo daily enriches your wellbeing. Their findings suggest that the act of actively seeking and engaging in photographic opportunities every day serves as a form of self-care (it's challenging, therapeutic and refreshing). Also, by engaging in regular interaction and feedback with likeminded people (i.e. the online community who share similar interests), the researchers also found benefits in the participants sense of progress; while participants also reported a sense of achievement through their expanding photography feeds.
One study participant explained: "It encourages me to get out of the house sometimes when I could just sit on my backside with a cup of tea. I’ll think maybe I’ll take a walk down on to the seafront and before I know it I’m two miles along the coast."
Another photographer described the satisfaction they got from frequent creative thinking: "It’s really good to be able to take five minutes every day to do something slightly creative, which I enjoy doing and I think is good for wellbeing. It’s positive in that it gives me something to look towards."
Most brands now make the process of taking your images from their cameras to your phones a breeze, and we've seen lots of advances in the connectivity features over the last few years. This means that you get the benefits of shooting with your high quality photographic gear, and easily share them with your social networks.
Whether it's the daily interaction with these engaged communities, or the self-discipline required to capture an attractive image each and every day – challenge yourself and see if you feel the difference after sharing your photography.